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KnUfht Letter 

THE LEWIS CARROLL J^^SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA NUMBER 57 SPRING 1998 




The CenTenniel Celebration 

by Mark Burstein and Joel Birenbaum 

On January 14th, 1898, the 65 year-old Reverend 
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Deacon of the Church of En- 
gland, former Mathematical Lecturer and Sub-Librarian at 
Christ Church, Oxford, "fell asleep" (so phrased his funeral 
keepsake ) as a consequence of a bronchial infection, at the 
family home in Guildford, Surrey His obituaries were varied 
and fascinating. One hundred years later, we observe the 
centenary of his passing to "the other side of the looking- 
glass", and so gathered to celebrate his life and works in a 
long, marvelously sunny weekend (March 27th - 3 1st) which 
began with a tour of New York City. ~ mb 

Our first stop on Friday morning was at the 
Delacorte Alice statue in Central Park. Now (as of our Satur- 
day meeting) I know it is the deCreeft statue. 3 This statue 
always brings out the child in a true Carrollian. It is simply 
the spirit of Alice 's Adventures in Wonderland cast in bronze. 
Of course we took a photo of our group of 30 in front of the 
statue. This isn't as easy as it sounds. Getting 30 Carrollians 
to do anything in concert is nearly impossible. We are an 
independent lot. 

Our next stop was only a block away at the Sophie 
Irene Loeb Fountain . This lesser-known Alice monument 
was a surprise to some of our crew (some of them even New 
Yorkers) who had never seen it before. We all took in the 
magnificence of the concrete drinking fountain in the 
children's playground. Like its bronze cousin, the fountain is 
adored by young and old alike. 

Finally, Janet was able to muster our troops together 
for the bus ride cross-town. Getting that many tourists on a 
City bus is enough to try the patience of a veteran New 
Yorker and we did get some looks from the regular passen- 
gers (if you can call anything in New York "regular"). Well, 
you can't do anything in New York without the city itself 
being the main event. When we came to our stop there was a 
taxi parked at the bus stop. After a few words were exchanged 
between drivers to no avail, the bus driver decided to push 
the cab out of the way - with our bus! I had lived in this city 
the first twenty years of my life and never seen anything like 
it. I miss New York 

Next we had our "Adventures Underground". Yes, 



undaunted, we took the subway. We got off at the 50th Street 
station of the 1 and 9 train lines. Here we saw four terra-cotta 
mosaic panels depicting Alice characters. The display, en- 
titled "Alice: The Way Out" was designed by Liliana Porter 
in 1994 as part of the MTA Arts for Transit program. Again, 
our group got stares from the locals as we descended on the 
platform with cameras flashing. After a short stay we got 
back on the train and continued our journey downtown. This 
entailed a change of trains where I could swear we walked up 
and down the same set of stairs more then once, although 
Janet assured me this was not so. It was an Alician stroll 
indeed. 

When we came up for air, it was a short walk to 
Gouverneur Hospital to see the Alice mural. This mural was 
one of 16 Alice pieces done as part of the public art program 
during the Depression. The 310' mural by Abram Champanier 
was one titled "Alice in Wonderland at the New York Public 
Library". Others depict Alice soaring in a biplane over New 
York, visiting the Statue of Liberty, and generally turning the 
Big Apple into a huge Wonderland. Again, New York City 
played a role. We were approached by the police and told 
that it was not permitted to take photos in a public building. 
There was much discussion, although most of the photos 
had already been taken. When I asked an officer why it was 
not allowed, he admitted he had no clue. Apparently they 
don't want people taking photos of the patients. By the time 
we left I think we had signed up two officers as members of 
the Society. This ended quite an eventful morning. 

That aftenoon, we visited the standing Carroll ex- 
hibit at the Bobst Library at NYU. We were certainly more in 
our element. We wandered by the cases of Carroll books, 
Alice translations, a Rackham sketchbook, and old posters. 
It was a nice return to normalcy. I'm not sure that this would 
be normal for other than a Carrollian group like ours. We met 
again at Janet's that night for a buffet dinner and more social- 
izing. You really should have been there. It was a perfect day, 
largely due to the preparations made by Janet Jurist. -jb 

On Saturday morning, a Grolier Club exhibition of 
items from the superb Jon Linseth collection was open for a 
private pre- viewing for LCSNA members. The Club was 
founded in 1 884 and has been a mainstay of American book 
collecting with its programs of publications, exhibitions, sym- 
posia, lectures, and the formation and maintenance of a fine 




YOU ABE SO DUMB, BEBNICE. 
(T WAS A GLASS SJ39S and 
THAT WAS SNOW WHITE. 
SLOPING BEAUTY ATE A 
POISON APPLE AND WENT 
TO OZ AND MET THE 
7 DWARFS 




THEY WEBE BUSY SLIPPEBS. 

8EBNICE. AND SHE HAD TO 
BETUBN THEM BY MIDNIGHT, 

THE WHITE RABBIT KEPT 
TELLING HEB SHE WAS LATE 

AND SHE FEU. DOWN A H- 




WHAT WAS MY \ 

OBIGINAL POINT, 

ANYWAY? 



library, now housed in the Georgian-style building on East 
60th Street which serves as its headquarters. 

To do this exquisite treasury justice would be nigh 
impossible, but I will enumerate some highlights. Fortunately, 
a superb catalog called Yours Very Sincerely, CL. Dodgson 
(alias "Lewis Carroll") has been published by the Grolier 
club and is available through the Society (see p. 20). It con- 
tains many fascinating essays as well as a catalogue raisonne 
of the exhibit. 

The exhibit takes its title from an ALS (autograph 
letter signed), just one of the rare gems from the Linseth 
collection. It is divided into areas of interest: CLD as author, 
bibliophile, photographer, mathematician; theatrical produc- 
tions; translations, and so on. Among the former: an AW 
inscribed to Tenniel and one inscribed by Tenniel, an 1865 
Alice, and one inscribed to Lorina 
Liddell, Alice's mother 'To Her, 
whose children's smiles fed the 
narrator's fancy and were his rich re- 
ward"; among the second a copy of 
The Poetical Works of P.B.Shelley in- 
scribed by his wife, Mary 
Wollstonecraft; among the third a 
lovely portrait of Xie Kitchen in the 
style of Joshua Reynolds' 
"Penelope", which "achieved excel- 
lence in a photograph by taking a 
lens and putting Xie in front of it" 
(Carroll's pun); and a previously un- 
published ALS to "Mrs. Hunt" dated 
8 December 1881, which sheds light 
on his decision to forgo photogra- 
phy (relevant text in box on p.4). 

Once again, the Elmer 
Holmes Bobst Library of New York 
University in Washington Square was 
the gracious host of our regular meeting (particular thanks 
going to Marvin Taylor of the Fales Library). The Library 
houses the vast and significant holdings of the Berol Collec- 
tion of Carroll material, rhe audience numbered about sixty, 
including five former LCSN A presidents; journeyers from as 
far away as Japan, Sweden and the U.K.; and the von 
Neumann Professor of Mathematics at Princeton, John Horton 
Conway (best known for The Game of Life). 

Our president Joel Birenbaum opened the meeting 
and introduced Diane Marx, who was presenting the first 
Stan Marx Memorial Lecture. The speaker was Professor Nina 
Demurova, Professor of English and American Literature at 
the University of the Russian Academy of Education in 
Moscow, translator of the A lice books and the Russian Jour- 
nal into Russian, and the author of Lewis Carroll 's Life and 
Works, also in Russian. Professor Demurova gave detailed 
and fascinating insights into Dodgson's Russian journey, 
particularly animated by slides which included vintage pho- 
tos, drawings, etchings, and paintings of buildings, people, 
and the areas through which they traveled. 

Dodgson's Journal of a Tour in Russia in 1867 is 




widely available in print, but Nina brought it to life for us. 
Dodgson and his friend, colleague, and mentor Henry P 
Liddon, Canon of St. Paul's, undertook the journey some- 
what spontaneously (it was proposed to CLD on 1 July; they 
left on the 12th, and spent the next two weeks in Germany 
before taking the train to St. Petersburg). On the 28V2 hour 
train ride (during which Dodgson slept on the floor), they 
met up with Alexander Muir, an expatriate whose huge de- 
partment store eventually became the GUM., and who served 
as their guide and sometime liaison. Liddon was specifically 
there to explore in greater depth the controversy between 
High and Low Churches (the rich trappings of Catholicism 
and the Eastern Orthodox vs. the austere Evangelical and 
Protestant). Dodgson, although these questions were of great 
interest to him, was along more as a tourist. It was all very 
moving to him, although he at first 
found it "grotesque". We traveled with 
this pair as they visited this most Asian 
of capitals, Moscow, and its churches, 
gardens, public buildings, picture-gal- 
leries, and the great Exhibition; its citi- 
zens and clergy, especially the arch- 
bishop known as 'The Metropolitan". 
They were particularly fond of listening 
to musical services and buying 
"Eikons". Prof. Demurova also showed 
us contemporary photographs by 
Andrei Karellen (sp. ?) of Russia, quite 
like CLD's, which showed street life, 
domestic scenes, and, mainly, children. 
All in all, quite an adventure. 

August Imholtz of the nomi- 
nating committee presented the slate of 
candidates for LCSNA office to be 
elected by a general vote at our Fall 
meeting in Los Angeles. They are Presi- 
dent: Stephanie Stoffel; Vice President: Mark Burstein; Trea- 
surer: Fran Abeles; Secretary: Ellie Luchinsky; Directors: Pat 
Griffin and Germaine Weaver. 

Joel was surprised by a tribute poem (in the rhythm 
of The Hunting of the Snark) and a gold watch for the excel- 
lent job he has done as our President. 

Charles Lovett made a report of the publications 
committee, but did put out a call for assistance. Any member 
who wishes to get involved with this committee should con- 
tact him at 128 W 128th Court, Overland Park, KS 66213 or 
charliel03@aol.com. Our publications are a mainstay of our 
society, and that committee is at its heart (see p. 19). 

The next presentation was a wondrous and unex- 
pected treat. Lorrie Goulet was married to Jose de Creeft ( 1 884- 
1982) at the time he created the Alice statue in Central Park, 
so beloved by children. Although the fountain is sometimes 
called the "Delacorte" fountain after its patron, the story of 
its making is fascinating in itself. Because she has so often 
been asked to tell the story, Mrs. Goulet has made a color 
video ('The Making of the Alice in Wonderland Statuary 
Group") which she played for us. 



George Delacorte was a wealthy publisher 
(Delacorte Press, Dell, Dell Comics and others) who wished 
to make a fitting memorial to his late wife, Margaret. It was 
she who so loved the Alice books, and her name is on the 
official title of the piece, namely the "Alice in Wonderland 
Margaret Delacorte Memorial". This 1 1 x 16 foot, 6-ton bronze 
sculpture with a granite base was dedicated May 7th, 1959, 
and was immediately covered by children, which remains true 
to this day. There are even things to be discovered under- 
neath the mushroom for toddlers who can't climb yet. 

The statue was proposed by Delacorte, designed 
by Fernando Texidor, and reworked by de Creeft. It was the 
story of the two years between 
conception and dedication which 
is the subject of this film. We were 
treated to views of various stages 
of the project: maquettes in 
plastilene, larger models covered 
in papier-mache, the enlargement 
process, and finally the casting 
stage, in which plaster molds were 
sent to the foundry for wax cast- 
ing. When the bronze was poured, 
the wax melted out, and later a pa- 
tina was applied. The statuary 
group was ultimately delivered on 
a flatbed truck to its final resting 
spot in Central Park. 

Lorrie had several fasci- 
nating tidbits to offer, including a 
picture of her daughter Donna 
Maria, who was eight at the time 
and most definitely inspired the 
facial features of Alice. She also 
mentioned that several of Jose's 
colleagues often dropped by with 
suggestions and assistance, 
among them Jacques Lipchitz. 

She also told of one 
evening at sunset, shortly after the 
dedication, when de Creeft went 
down to get an anonymous look 
at his creation. Climbing the 
statue, he heard an admonitory 

"Get off of that! This is for children only" Embarrassed, he 
turned around, only to behold the equally dumfounded 
George Delacorte. They ended up sitting together on Alice's 
lap. 

Ms. Goulet is rightfully a bit chagrined that the statue 
is known by the patron's name rather than de Creeft's. But 
Jose had the last laugh, after all. The face of the Mad Hatter 
is a quite humorous caricature of George Delacorte. 

Professor Donald Rackin, who has a marvelously 
ironic (Anglo-Saxon?) attitude about academia, warned us 
"'"this is the driest thing I know.'"" and began his discourse 
on 'Tennysonian Connections in Lewis Carroll: The Sublime 
and the Ridiculous". Their personal relationship was de- 



". . .The last photograph I took was in 
August 1 880! Not one have I done this 
year: as there was no subject tempt- 
ing enough to make me face the 
labour of getting the studio into work- 
ing order again. As to the subject you 
kindly propose to bring me each year; 
I hope you won't mind my saying 
^Please don't !' Such subjects require 
instantaneous photography, which you 
can get to perfection at many pho- 
tographers: I don't attempt that pro- 
cess at all. Consequently the lowest 
age that I undertake is 6 or 7 & then 
only girls: & even then I don't the least 
care to do the dress of ordinary life. 
It is a very tiring amusement, & any- 
thing which can be equally well, or 
better, done in a professional studio 
for a few shillings I would always 
rather have so done than go through 
the labour myself. Don't think me very 
lazy in the matter! Remember I have 
had 22 years of it, & have done thou- 
sands of negatives." 



scribed as sporadic and not as intimate as the lionizing 
Dodgson would have wanted, but this was somewhat under- 
standable as these two personages could not have been less 
alike. Alfred, Lord Tennyson was reclusive, unkempt, gloomy, 
and melancholy to the point of morbidity. Dodgson was so- 
ciable, playful, immaculately groomed, and a supreme master 
of the comic. They met when Dodgson was 25 and the Poet 
Laureate was 48, and their acquaintance lasted from 1 857 - 
1870. CLD's diary entry for 22 September 1857 describes a 
"strange, shaggy-looking man" and his relationship to the 
Poet Laureate is of tantamount importance in understanding 
his life and work. From the worshipful Index to "In Memo- 
riam " to his satirizing Tennyson's 
'The Two Voices"( 1833) in his 'The 
Three Voices" , Carroll's betrayed a 
strong ambivalence to the man 
Rackin called the "tearful Victorian 
model of the egotistical sublime". All 
is not quite on the surface, however. 
Dodgson's diaries are full of guilt 
and melancholy, and he was embar- 
rassed of his own sentimentality. 

'Tithonus" ( 1 860), 10 Lord 
Tennyson's suicidal self-portrait of 
"a white-haired shadow. . . dwell[ing] 
in the presence of immortal youth", 
found echoes in Carroll's White 
Knight, and in the two poems fram- 
ing TTLG, which are replete with poi- 
gnant Tennysonian echoes in a "mi- 
nor elegiac key" of the evanescence 
of childhood's innocence. 

One of the differences be- 
tween these two men, Rackin main- 
tains, is that Tennyson was clini- 
cally depressed during most of his 
life (he referred to his "divine de- 
spair"), while Dodgson suffered the 
actual losses of his girl-friends as 
they matured. 

'The Garden of Live Flow- 



ers" (TTLG, ch.2) is a direct parody 
of Tennyson's "Maud". 

Tennyson was skeptical, 
doubtful and even blasphemous, which contrasts with 
Dodgson, a man of simple faith; a conflict which found its 
epiphany in The Hunting of the Snark. Carroll deliberately 
had the Bellman portrayed as a caricature of the Poet Laure- 
ate by Henry Holliday, and he was characterized as a self- 
deluded, incompetent old man leading the hunt, a hunt which 
ended in the Tennysonian "Godless deep". The Bellman tolls 
his bell for inescapable Death and existential dread. It is well 
to remember that the last stanza of the Snark came to Carroll 
as he was visiting the deathbed of his nephew Charlie Wilcox, 
who passed away at the age of 22. 

Dr. Rackin concluded, 'The Tennysonian sublime 
is never far from the Carrollian ridiculous." 




That evening we met at the Cornell club for a black- 
tie dinner "celebrating Morton Cohen's outstanding literary, 
scholarly and personal contributions to all things Carrollian". 
After a fine dinner, the evening's entertainment began with 
remarks by Edward Guiliano and then "A Few Wise Words 
About Morton Cohen . . . From One Who Should Know", that 
One being the Reverend Dodgson himself! Well, if truth be 
told, it was the marvelous actor Andrew Sellon (creator of 
the one-man stage show Through the Looking-Glass Darkly: 
A Dream Play - see KL 
50's lead article) in pe- 
riod costume. His hu- 
morous, yet moving 
tribute to "his" biogra- 
pher included a reading 
of "Poeta Fit, Non 
Nascitur" from Phan- 
tasmagoria - we were 
asked to substitute "bi- 
ographer" for "poet". 
He concluded "Mort- 
on, my face grows stern 
and sad at many of the 

things that have been Tenn y son > chalk sketch b y G F Watts 
published about me, but your works are a blessed exception. 
There have been so many who have donned the mantle of 
'Lewis Carroll biographer' , but some of them were more inter- 
ested in fabricating Sensation than in looking for the facts. 
You have shown, not only with your recent biography, but in 
all your works on me, the integrity of a hero, the discretion of 
a gentleman, and the humanity of a friend. I don't know what 
I did to deserve you — or indeed if I do deserve you! But it 
seems that you and I, though more than half a life apart, are 
now linked for all time, and I for one consider myself in very 
good company indeed. With your writing and your generos- 
ity, you have served not only me and this Society, but also 
served society at large, and given me life again both now and 
into the future. I can only give you my humblest thanks. 
'Well done, good and faithful servant.'" 

He then fumbled in his pocket and produced 
"something I must have torn out of my diary in a moment of 
editorial passion ... 27 June, 1 863 ..." but refused to let Morton 
see it. 

Tributes were then forthcoming from: Charlie 
Lovett, reading "Defection: An Ode" by former LCSN A Presi- 
dent Peter Heath, a poem beginning "I'll tell thee everything 
I can, / There's little to unravel . . . "; Joel Birenbaum's "I am 
told, Morton Cohen, / the youth did say . . . "; reminiscences 
by his friend Barbara Holtz, who also circulated a picture of 
the dashing "Morty" around the time of his Bar Mitzvah; 
Selwyn Goodacre reading a tribute from Richard Lancelyn 
Green whose father had been Morton's collaborator; John 
Wilcox Baker reading a letter from David Macmillan; Chris- 
tina Bjerk, Dr. Sandor Burstein; and several others. Further 
entertainment came from soprano Susan Kirkland of the New 
York City Opera performing "Elsie's Lament" from The Yeo- 
men of the Guard, "Comin' Thro' the Rye" which was in 




am; 




Henry Holiday's Bellman 



Jenny Lind's concert repertoire, and Dodgson's beloved 
"Santa Lucia". We also heard a most animated reading of the 
Humpty Dumpty chapter of TTLG, performed by Anita Hol- 
lander and Paul Hamilton (both of whom fell prey to the 
"borogroves" bug, perhaps caught by overexposure to the 
Alice statue {see "Articles", item 7 on p. 22 }) 

Lastly, August presented Morton with a wonder- 
fully executed bust of Lewis Carroll by Graham Piggott (see 
"Ravings", p. 16.) Of course in true Carrollian manner, he was 

made to give it back, as 
it was yet unfinished. 

The next day, 
Sunday, began with 
Stephanie Stoffel's pre- 
sentation of the second 
Maxine Schaefer Me- 
morial Reading for Chil- 
dren, at the Children's 
Museum of Manhattan, 
and that afternoon 
found us in Edwardian 
splendor at the magnifi- 
cent Morgan Library, 
begun in the early days 
of this century by financier Pierpont Morgan, and opened to 
the public by his son in 1 924. The occasion was a lecture, 
"Reflections on Lewis Carroll" by Morton Cohen. (They will 
be also be mounting an exhibit of materials from the Houghton 
collection of Lewis Carroll from May 22nd - August 29th). 

A born raconteur, Morton kept us most amused with 
his reflections on his life's interweaving with Mr.Dodgson's. 
His first project began in 1 960 as a collaboration with Roger 
Lancelyn Green to produce a volume of Carroll 's letters. They 
thought it might take a few years to gather and transcribe the 
letters, along with procuring mini-biographies of the recipi- 
ents. It turned out to be nineteen years of labor, but the 
rewards were plentiful, finding the erstwhile child friends of 
Mr. Dodgson, now grown into people like the wife of the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and the mother of John Gielgud. 
Many of the people Cohen befriended, such as Dodgson's 
nieces and grand-nieces, were completely unaware of what 
they had, and would rummage about in the attic and come 
down with old trunks which hadn't been looked at in de- 
cades, and which, in at least one case, turned out to be full of 
hundreds of letters from Carroll. 

He told the story of finding drafts of Symbolic Logic 
and thirty associated letters, which he filed away in a kitchen 
cabinet and didn't think about until Professor William Bartley 
contacted him, was flabbergasted by the discovery of what 
Morton was sitting on, and showed up two days later. These 
were of course eventually published as Part II of Lewis 
Carroll s Symbolic Logic fClarkson N. Potter, 1 977) and with 
enough original material to prove that Dodgson, as a logi- 
cian, was many years ahead of his time. 

Cohen reminisced on how internal clues pointed 
him to writing his biography with a thematic instead of chro- 
nological structure; how among his new projects are a book 



of Carroll's photographs, a novel, a guide to Puerto Rico, 
three more volumes of letters, and a book on Tennyson. He 
called Dodgson "an admirable and decent human being", 
but put it all into perspective by explaining the ultimate ques- 
tion, "Why Carroll?", by the simplest of all answers: "He 
makes me laugh." - mb 

On Monday there were 13 of us who met at the 
Firestone Library in Princeton, after an impromptu lunch where 
we got to chat with Alexander Wainwright, one of our charter 
members. He is actively working on a printed catalog of the 
Parrish collection even though he's been retired for some 
time now. (I think that working on Carroll tends to keep one 
young.) It was a delightful lunch except when, towards the 
end, they started testing the fire alarm, which was very loud 
and had a sound "as of ducks that die in tempests". We 
headed off to the Firestone where we were introduced to the 
newly acquired Cotesen Collection of Children's Literature. 
The library that houses this collection is an interactive cen- 
ter for children based mostly on AW. You can stand on a 
platform and look through an inverted telescope and see 
your feet so very far away, as if you had grown incredibly 
large; which was odd because there were no mushrooms to 
be found anywhere nearby. There were also gimmicks to teach 
children about parody and nonsense, but I bet that most of 
them are smart enough to come through it without learning 
anything, but having a fun time in the process. It turned our 
group of scholars and Carroll devotees into children again 
and I thought we would never get them out of there. 

We did find time to visit the Carroll Centenary Ex- 
hibit in the Milberg Graphic Arts Gallery. It wasn't large, con- 
sidering how much material there is in the Parrish collection, 
but it was a well-rounded one. The selection included por- 
traits, landscapes, and even pictures of young boys. I ap- 
plaud this selection. There was a case of colorful "lightweight" 
items reflecting Carroll in the popular culture - "Alice in Ad- 
vertising Land", the Guinness books and card sets. There 
were also cases of serious items, such as letters, original 
drawings, translations and first editions. One I hadn't seen 
before was an. Alice painting by Ethel Parrish, Morris' wife, 
using her niece as the model. It added a nice personal touch. 

On Tuesday, the last day of planned events, only 
eight staunch souls (I almost said soles, which would also be 
true) were in attendance at the Rosenbach Library Museum 
in Philadelphia, proving that large numbers are not needed 
for a successful afternoon. We sat around a large table as 
Elizabeth Fuller presented us with a wonderful variety of items 
that she had hand-picked for our pleasure, and what a plea- 
sure it was. We saw an 1865 Alice, original Tenniel sketches, 
the four famous photographs of nude girls, original sketches 
made by Carroll for A.B. Frost to use as a guideline for his 
drawings for Phantasmagoria, and more. A great deal of 
time was spent on perusing Dodgson's passport, which was 
also was the center of attention at our 1994 visit. We looked 
at all the stamps, and Nina Demurova translated the Russian 
bits for us, but there is always something new to learn. We 
noticed that the passport holder contained a small pencil and 
someone exclaimed that Carroll must have written things with 



that pencil. There was a group gasp. Sure enough, Ms. Fuller 
pulled out a letter written by Dodgson in pencil, stating that 
there was no ink to be had in Russia. It is something to realize 
that looking at the same items with a different group of people 
who have diverse areas of expertise and interests turns the 
viewing into a totally new experience. We all have something 
to bring to the table (in this case, literally). Another item of 
interest was an envelope of HOW material, which stands for 
Helpers of Wonderland. Children could join HOW and help 
pay for the Lewis Carroll cot in the children's hospital. The 
envelope was a packet of information sent to a new member. 
Oh HOW we all eyed that HOW pinback badge, though it 
managed to remain at the Rosenbach when we left. This was 
a grand ending to a notable five day weekend. I was so happy 
I almost didn't realize how exhausted I was, but the enjoy- 
ment shared by so many of our members was more than worth 
the effort. For me this was a meeting of old friendships 
strengthened and new friendships made. -jb 

partially reproduced on our cover and on view at the Grolier 
exhibition. Also in their catalog C.L. Dodgson (alias "Lewis 
Carroll") - ordering information on p. 20 

see In Memoriam, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, p. 19 
3 

see Saturday's report 

sculpted by Richard Roth in 1936 as a memorial to writer 
and social worker S.I.Loeb, located at the James Michael Levin 
playground, 76th St. off Fifth Ave. 

Russian-bom Abram Champanier ( 1 899- 1 960) executed these 
in 1940, as a way to amuse gravely ill children. The Bronx 
Museum of the Arts has a catalog, A New Deal for Public 
Art: Murals from the Federal Work Programs, from their 
1993-4 exhibition, showing three of the Alice works. ISBN 0- 
917-535-21-9. 

named after Jean Grolier(1479-1565), Renaissance biblio- 
phile, patron, and Royal Treasurer 

open from April 1 - May 29th, for Grolier members only 

they are also in the process of putting the collection on 
CD-ROM as a research tool. It will be issued by the NYUPress, 
and the LCSNA is very involved in its production. 

pub. in Phantasmagoria, 1 869 

I source of the line "After many a summer dies the swan" 

I I properly "Maud; A Monodrama", 1 855, and in particular 
section XXII, which begins, "Come into the garden, Maud. 

There has fallen a splendid tear 

From the passion-flower at the gate 
She is coming, my dove, my dear; 

She is coming, my life, my fate. 
The red rose cries, "She is near, she is near;' 

And the white rose weeps, "She is late;' 
The larkspur listens, 'I hear, I hear;' 

Andthelily whispers, 'I wait.'" -XXII.X 

1 from Aperture Foundation, due out in October. It accom- 
panies an exhibition at the Ransom Humanities Research 
Center at UT Austin, September - December '98 



Echoes of Shakespeare in the First Stanza of Jabberwocky 

©1998 by Alice Krinsky 



M> 6LYRE 7TM> <S.ywO(.e IM Y* W7T>E : 
MX mitHiy WS*6 y* >«)I»6.«VE5^ 

KH> y" IH«H<E *7tT«iS »UC«>1lt>e ♦ 



"In the most high and palmy state of Rome, 
A little ere the mighty Julius fell, 
The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead 
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets." 

~ Hamlet 

When the young Charles Dodgson (later known as 
Lewis Carroll) composed the first stanza of what was to be- 
come "Jabberwocky" 1 , he may have had the above cited 
lines from Hamlet in mind 2 . By no means is this theory an 
attempt to prove that it is a parody of Hamlet or to remove 
"Jabberwocky" from its status as one of the greatest and 
most original nonsense poems ever written. For, as Roger 
Lancelyn Green wrote, '"Jabberwocky , is original with the 
supreme originality of great works of literature that need not 
be ashamed to admit a debt of inspiration." 3 Rather, this rev- 
elation adds another dimension to "Jabberwocky'"s absurd 
beauty and helps to clarify the nature of Carroll's nonsense 
(or the method in his madness). It also demonstrates how it 
fits into the context of Carroll's other works, rather than be- 
ing an isolated example of a poem for which there is no "origi- 
nal". 

The first stanza of "Jabberwocky" was written sepa- 
rately from the rest of the poem, in 1 855, and was titled "Stanza 
of Anglo-Saxon Poetry". The rest was probably composed 
for a verse-making game between Carroll and his cousins in 
1 867 4 ; the entire poem was first published as "Jabberwocky" 
in Through the Looking-Glass in 1872, along with illustra- 
tions by John Tenniel. In terms of syntax, the older first stanza 
and the second part of the line in Hamlet are virtually identi- 
cal. A skeletal diagram, based on the one by Charles Fries, 
illustrates this fact: 

and the 

"5 



Did 



and 



in the 



As the example shows, the parts of speech, the word 
order and the Standard English "filler" words of the first stanza 
of "Jabberwocky" and the second half of the lines in Hamlet 
are almost exactly the same. Although the introductory words 
do not fit this pattern, i.e. "Twas bryllyg" vs. "In the most 
high and palmy state of Rome, a little ere the mighty Julius 
fell, the graves stood tenantless", both of these elements 
indicate the time and circumstances under which the activity 
in the poems occurred. The definition of '"Twas bryllyg" 
that Carroll provided in the original version 6 was "the time of 
broiling dinner, i.e. the close of the afternoon". The "wabe" 
and the "Roman streets" are both indicators of place, since 
Carroll defined the "wabe" as "the side of a hill" The words 
"slithy" and "sheeted" do not have the same suffixes but are 
both disyllabic adjectives beginning with "s" which fit into 
the same position in the skeletal diagram. Those expressions 



in the two verses that do not have the same number of syl- 
lables and/or parts of speech are nevertheless common in 
their respective functions. 

With a bit of imagination and wordplay and the defi- 
nitions that Carroll provides, we can see that there are other 
semantic similarities between the two poems. Both describe 
a time of agitation in which strange creatures roam nervously 
about, making squeaking noises. In both cases, these events 
are omens of forthcoming bloodshed. Of course, the "Stanza 
of Anglo-Saxon Poetry" was originally not such an omen 
since it stood alone, without the rest of "Jabberwocky". It 
may later, however, have influenced the rest of the poem, or 
have been considered an appropriate introduction to it be- 
cause of its similarity to the omen in Hamlet. The line follow- 
ing the first stanza of "Jabberwocky": "Beware the Jabber- 
wock", recalls the soothsayer's warning to Julius Caesar, "Be- 
ware the Ides of March", 7 part of the same series of eerie 
events preceding Caesar's death. Both lines also have the 
same number of syllables. 

The words are also similar. "Gibber" sounds like 
"Jabber". In this context, James Joyce linked the two works 
in a line in Finnegans Wake: "Tis jest jibberweek's joke" 8 . 
"Mome" was defined by Carroll as "grave" (meaning sol- 
emn). "Outgrabe" means "squeaked". Could the "mome raths" 
be the Rome wraiths coming out of their graves? Or do the 
"borogoves" or the "raths" have anything to do with the 
burghers or Rathe (ministers, Ger.) who were plotting to 
murder Caesar? Why is there a Roman column supporting 
the sundial in Tenniel 's illustration of "Jabberwocky"? 

We may ask whether it was possible for Carroll to 
have borrowed this line from Hamlet. In most of his early 
poetry, he borrowed lines or meters from his favorite authors 
and poets, and almost every other poem in the Alice books 
has been traced to its original source. 9 Jean Gattegno wrote 
that there are "certain features common to all (his) youthful 
works: First, his fondness for parody, naturally tending to 
choose of its target the great writers studied at school. . . also 
Shakespeare; indeed it combines a sense of parody with an 
early taste for logic." 10 Carroll altered lines from Shakespeare 
in several of his early works: "A Quotation from Shakespeare 
with Slight Improvements" 11 'The Tragedy of King John" 12 , 
a play performed by family members, and "La Guida di 
Bragia" 13 He later modified Ariel's song in The Tempest for 
'The New Belfry at Christ Church" 14 , and had Bruno per- 
form abridged and childish versions of other Shakespeare 
plays including Hamlet in "Bits of Shakespeare" in Chapter 
XXIV of Sylvie and Bruno 15 . Green also demonstrated that 
part of Alice's dialogue with the Gnat in Through the Look- 
ing-Glass was inspired by lines in Henry IV, Part I. ] 6 

In 1855, Carroll was already familiar with at least 
some of Shakespeare's works, having quoted him in family 
magazines as early as 1 845- 1850 17 . On March 13, 1855, he 
devised a reading scheme in which he ambitiously planned 
to read a long list of classics of history, divinity, mathemat- 
ics, philosophy and poetry. The first poet whose complete 
works he aspired to read was Shakespeare 1 8 . In February, he 
heard a reading of Henry V* 9 ; on June 22 he attended a 



performance of Henry VIII and was thrilled by the scene of 
Queen Catherine's vision of angels 20 . 1 855 was also the year 
in which Carroll first gained financial independence and could 
more easily indulge in his interest in theater, which his father 
had not encouraged. 

Although there is no direct evidence to support the 
fact that the line of Hamlet attracted Carroll's attention in 
1 855, it is actually quoted in the first poem of Phantasmago- 
ria, 2 ^ published in 1869, around the time Through the Look- 
ing-Glass was being written. In it, a small ghost tells the 
narrator about his life: 

And when you've learned to squeak, my man, 
And caught the double sob, 

You're pretty much where you began: 

Just try and gibber if you can! 

That's something like a job! 

Shakespeare I think it is who treats 

Of Ghosts in days of old 
Who 'gibbered in the Roman streets' 
Dressed, if you recollect, in sheets - 

They must have found it cold. 

Given Carroll's lifelong fascination with phantoms 
and grotesque creatures, it is not surprising that the omen, a 
"mote to trouble the mind's eye" in Hamlet 22 would have 
amused him enough to integrate it into his own work. He 
disguised it, however, as a "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry" 
in the vein of his earlier mock Old English poem "Ye Fatale 
Cheyse" 23 which also contains nonsense words and defini- 
tions. Although in 1855 Carroll aspired to learn more about 
Anglo-Saxon, the words and meter of the "Stanza" really 
have nothing to do with that language. 24 

This theory also fits with Roger Lancelyn Green's 
convincing assertion that the second part of "Jabberwocky" 
is based on 'The Shepherd of the Giant Mountains" by 
Carroll's cousin, Menella Smedley 25 . Both interpretations can 
stand together, when "Jabberwocky" is viewed as a 
mischmasch of Carroll's ideas and readings. 

The second part of "Jabberwocky" tells the story 
of a youth who is warned about terrible monsters by his 
father, or a man who refers to him as "my son", slays a 
"Jabberwock", and is then welcomed home. Smedley's poem, 
supposedly a translation of a poem by Fouque, involves a 
young shepherd named Gottschalk who is warned by an older 
shepherd of a fearful griffin that is terrorizing the land. 
Gottschalk slays the griffin and receives the princess' hand 
in marriage as a reward. Later, he wins a duel with an evil 
knight and is welcomed home by the princess' father, who 
says "come into my arms, my brave and gallant son", which, 
as Green noted, recalls the line in "Jabberwocky": come to 
my arms, my beamish boy! ". The warning shepherd at the 
beginning who calls Gottschalk "my son", does not, how- 
ever, use the word "Beware" 26 . So Carroll may have gotten 
the latter from the story of Caesar's fall. There is nothing in 
the "Shepherd" that resembles the first stanza, and so it was 
thought to have been purely a spontaneous product of 



Carroll's youthful imagination. 

We may also ask whether Carroll's use of the line in 
Hamlet in the "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry" is consistent 
with the way that he borrows elements from other poems. 
Certainly his use of them varies greatly in the extent to which 
the original is imitated or satirized. He often keeps the origi- 
nal meter intact, either throughout or in most of the verse — 
as in "Hiawatha's Photographing" or 'The Walrus and the 
Carpenter". Sometimes a phrase from the original is also used, 
as in "You are Old, Father William" or "She's All My Fancy 
Painted Him". In "A-Sitting on a Gate", as in the second part 
of "Jabberwocky", the plot of the original is loosely satirized 
or absurdly altered. There is no single technique; as Green 
stated, Carroll's parodies often convey the "feeling and the 
atmosphere" of their originals, rather than twist them accord- 
ing to a strict set of rules. 27 

Beverly Lyon Clark questioned the validity of the 
term "parody" which has often been used to describe Carroll's 
poems in Through the Looking-Glass, since his intention 
was not to satirize the original poems; she prefers to call his 
activity "play against the scaffolding of pre-existing po- 
ems" 28 ; however, she quotes a letter by Carroll to his uncle 
about "A-Sitting on a Gate" in which he says that it is a 
parody of Wordsworth's "Resolution and Independence" in 
terms of plot. He described the original as "a poem that has 
always amused me a good deal (though it is by no means a 
comic poem) by the absurd way in which the poet goes on 
questioning the poor old leech-gatherer, making him tell his 
story over and over again, and never attending to what he 
says". 29 So there was something about the original poem 
that seemed to him funny and worthy of attention, and it was 
this that he wanted to reproduce. This may have been the 
case with the verse of Hamlet as well. It was not so much that 
he wanted to poke fun at the original poem, but liked the 
absurdity of it so much as to want to make his own adapta- 
tion. 

The "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry" contains pro- 
portionately more nonsense words than do Carroll's other 
poems in Through the Looking Glass, which tend to use 
substituted words or plots instead of nonsense words so as 
to create nonsensical meanings. Yet, the "stanza" is not the 
only poem that the young Carroll wrote which contained 
nonsense words, nor is it complete gibberish. 

Elizabeth Sewell describes nonsense as self-refer- 
ential logic, and shows how nonsense re-orders the world in 
a playful way 30 . Richard Kelley advances her theory by dis- 
cussing how the success of nonsense poetry lies in the poet's 
ability to relate nonsense to elements in the real world famil- 
iar to the reader 31 . If there is no "sense" to refer the non- 
sense, the reader will not find it humorous. What is it about 
"Jabberwocky" then that has made it so exceptionally ap- 
pealing? 

Like Carroll's other poems, "Jabberwocky" contains 
recognizable elements of real poems because of structural 
and semantic similarities to the original, as well as "filler" 
words. With the help of the definitions provided, it contains 
unity of time, place, setting and action; there is therefore a 



8 



logic to it, both in reference to itself and the ideas brought 
forth by the similarity of the nonsense words to "real" world. 
The second part of the poem contains fewer nonsense words 
that require definitions, more onomatopoeic words like "ga- 
lumph" and "chortle", and a clear plot. Although she cannot 
understand the first stanza, the overall plot of the whole poem 
is more or less understood by Alice, who remarks '"some- 
body killed something: that's clear, at any rate-'" As in 
Carroll's logic problems, in which absurd conclusions are 
reached logically via absurd postulates and theorems, 
Carroll's variants of poems expose the absurdity of rules of 
language when applied to inappropriate elements. They also 
accentuate the rules themselves, which is why Carroll's non- 
sensical logic problems are still used as helpful learning de- 
vices; they also make the study of logic more fun. The parts 
of speech in "Jabberwocky" are clearly identifiable, explain- 
ing its popularity as a grammar exercise. 

The first stanza is a prelude to the more generally 
accessible plot, as an omen and as a rather unsettling con- 
clusion, giving the entire "Jabberwocky" a mysterious, 
otherworldly aspect. The first stanza might therefore never 
have gained such widespread appeal without the rest, and 
vice versa. Though not entirely written at one time, 
"Jabberwocky" is a distinct whole that requires all of its parts. 
It is also essential to the storyline of Through the Looking- 
Glass, since it provides Alice with her first taste of looking- 
glass verse, and offers the all-knowing Humpty Dumpty a 
logic problem to explain. Viewing the first stanza as a varia- 
tion on Hamlet adds another "real" element to which the 
nonsense can be referred, and gives further significance to 
the first stanza when it was written in 1 855. 

Unlike many of Carroll's other poems, however, the 
first stanza of "Jabberwocky" as well as the entire poem will 
always be capable of standing alone without reference to an 
original; indeed, it is probably his most popular poem. Its 
merit lies less in the cleverness of how it disguises the origi- 
nal than in its demonstration of Carroll's delightful ability to 
play with and parody language itself. 

1. Dodgson, Charles L., "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry 
(1 855)", Mischmasch, reprinted in The Rectory Umbrella and 
Mischmasch, Dover, New York, 1971 

2./fam/<ActI,Sc.l 

3. Green. Roger Lancelyn, The Lewis Carroll Handbook, 
Sidney Herbert and Marian Falconer, eds., revised by Roger 
Lancelyn Green; further revised by Dennis Crutch, Dawson, 
Kent England, 1979. 

4. ibid, p.308 

5. Fries, Charles C, The Structure of English, New York, 1952, 
cited in Language and Lewis Carroll, by Robert D. 
Sutherland, Mouton, The Hague, Paris, 1970, p.208, note 7. 

6. The Rectory Umbrella and Mischmasch, p. 139. 

7. Act I, Sc. 2 



9. See Green, Handbook, p. 307-3 17 for discussion of other 
poems in the Alice books. 

10. Gattegno, Jean, Lewis Carroll: Fragments of a Looking- 
Glass, tr. Rosemary Sheed, George Allen & Unwin, London, 
1977, p. 114-1 15. 

1 1 . Useful and Instructive Poetry ( 1 845) contains a parody of 
Henry IV, Part II, Act IV, Sc. IV 

12. This play was composed by Caroll as a marionette show 
for his family. It was performed on April 11, 1855. See The 
Diaries of Lewis Carroll, Vol. 1, Edited by Roger Lancelyn 
Green, Cassell, London, 1953, p. 46. 

13. The prologue is reprinted in Complete Works, p. 823. The 
original (c. 1 850) was published in The Queen, Vol.clxx, No. 
4430, 18Nov, 1931,p. 37-40. 

14. 'The New Belfry" parodies The Tempest, Act. I, Sc. n. See 
also Handbook, p. 3 16. 

15. Carroll, Lewis, Sylvie and Bruno, 1889 

1 6. Demurova, Nina 'Toward a Definition of Alice's Genre: 
The Folktale and Fairy-Tale Connections", in Lewis Carroll: 
A Celebration, p. 75-88. 

17. Several entries from The Rectory Magazine are preceded 
by quotes from Shakespeare. See The Rectory Magazine (fac- 
simile of revised 1850 edition), University of Texas Press, 
Austin & London, 1975, pp. 1,6,15,18,32,77,82,102. 

18. Diaries, Vol. 1, March 13, 1855, p. 44. 

19. ibid. Feb. 19, 1855, p. 41. 

20. ibid. June 11, 1855, p. 53. 

21. "Phantasmagoria", canto Four, Verses 19 and 20 

22. Act I Sc. I 

23 . "Ye Fatale cheyse" ( 1 850- 1 853) from the Rectory Umbrella 

24. Sutherland, p. 36. 

25. Green, Roger Lancelyn, 'The Griffin and the Jabberwock", 
Times Literary Supplement, 1 March, 1957, p. 136. 

26. Smedley, Menella, 'The Shepherd of the Giant Moun- 
tains", Sharpes Magazine, 7 and 21 March, 1846. 

27. Green, Handbook, p.308. 

28. Clark, Beverly Lyon, "Carroll's Well- Versed Narrative", 
English Language Notes, 20 Dec. , 1 982, p. 75 . 

29. ibid. p. 132. 

30. Sewell, Elizabeth, The Field of Nonsense, Chatto & 
Windus, London, 1952, p.49. 

3 1 . Kelly, Richard, Lewis Carroll, Revised Edition, GK Hall & 
Co., Boston, 1970, p.67. 



KU. HHWSy WSX6 y* ^JlOMVESj 

XH> y" H1*WE MWS WZS&KIE * 



8. Joyce, James, Finnegans Wake 565: 14 




Leaves from the Deanery Garden 

Superb reading. I'm exhausted. The blotter-paper covers, 
complete with score marks, are a truly magnificent example of 
perverse human culture. And what used to be a fairly slight, 
dry newsletter (although I do remember when you published 
my mock-advert for Irwin Allen's "disaster Alice" back in 
'82) has become a wonderfully diverse, opinionated forum 
for discussion. Bravo. 

Daniel Singer 
Pasadena, CA 

Thanks, Dan. I fondly remember the " Disaster Alice" (which 
was so remarkably prescient) but it wasn 't I at the helm in 
'82 . And I do wish to emphasize that I have stood "on the 
shoulders of giants" in taking over the KL, and that I am the 
first editor who was not also the President, so perhaps I 
have a bit more energy to lavish on it. 

As Dudeney explained (Canter- 
bury Puzzles, problem 107), any 
solution involving three tri- 
angles, one or more with sides 
in rational fractions, is easily 
transformed into a solution of 
three triangles with integral 
sides. In Dudeney's words, 
"You give all your sides a com- 
mon denominator and then can- 
cel that denominator." Carroll 
surely understood this, so he 
began his search for triplets of 
integer-sided triangles with the 
same area. 

The related problem of finding 
a third triangle with an area of 
210 and sides in rational frac- 
tions is, as Fran correctly 
stated, a difficult problem, and 
one Carroll may have been un- 
able to solve. However, I don't 
think he was looking for such a 

triangle, but rather for a different triplet of triangles with equal 
areas and integral sides. That's why I followed Dudeney by 
giving such a triplet. 

I'm pleased to report that St.Martin's Press has purchased 
my new Oz book. Titled Visitors from Oz, it will be published 
in 1998. The main plot is about the adventures of Dorothy, 
Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman in the United States, but 
before they get here they visit Wonderland where they make 
some surprising discoveries. 

All best, 

Martin Gardner 
Hendersonville NC 






Our heartfelt thanks to Mr. Gardner for resolving the con- 
troversy gone into in great length in KL 56, and appreciate 
his not berating us for misspelling his name several times 
(belated apologies). We wish his Oz/Wonderland book much 
success. 

Just a short note to say how much I enjoyed subject issue of 
the Knight Letter. It was full of the most interesting and 
fascinating articles. I'm already looking forward to the next 
issue! I finished this one much too soon! 

Sincerely, 

Bea Sidaway, Assistant to Jon Lindseth 
QueenBeal2@aol.com 

The information in the last Knight Letter about ordering our 
Alice should have had my name instead of the publisher's. 
He did it as a favour to me and I kept all the extra copies. 

Dayna McCausland, 
PO. Box 321 
Erin. ON NOB 1T0 
Canada 

Dayna is referring to the Alice 
keepsake from the LCSC in KL 
56, p. 15. 

Perhaps you'd like two little 
"gems" [from his forthcoming 
book, below] inyour Knight Let- 
ter. I think that they are true liter- 
ary discoveries about Shake- 
speare in Carroll, as I have never 
seen them commented on till now. 
Surely you can tell me if I'm mis- 
taken. First: 



In A lice in Wonderland, Ch. VI, 
"Pig and Pepper", we read: 

"... Visit either you like: they're 
both mad." 

"But I don't want to go among 
mad people," Alice remarked. 
"Oh, you can't help that," said 
the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." 

And in Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, V, I: 

Hamlet- How long is that since? 

I Clown (Grave-digger).- Cannot you tell that? every fool 

can tell that: it was the very day that young Hamlet was 

born: he that is mad, and sent into England. 

Hamlet.- Ay, marry, why was he sent into England? 

I Clown- Why, because he was mad: he shall recover his 

wits there; or, if he do not, it's no great matter there. 

Hamlet.- Why? 

I Clown- 'Twill not be seen in him there; there the men are 

as mad as he. 



10 



To this I have added some remarks about some forms of the 
madness once considered as British peculiarity (melancolica 
anglica or tcedium vitae; the Cheyne's book from 1733 about 
The British Malady, etc.) 

Now, second (a better oddity, I think). In Through the Look- 
ing-Glass, VTI, 'The Lion and the Unicorn", we read: 

. . . 'There's nothing like eating hay when you' re faint." . . . 

That seems a cow's idea, till you read ,4 Midsummer Night s 
Dream,\V,\. 

Titania- Or say, sweet love, what thou desir'st to eat. 
Bottom- Truly, a peck of provender, I could munch your 
good dry oats. Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle 
of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow. 

To this I must add that the word 'bottle', in Shakespeare's 
time, meant also "a bundle of hay or straw", as my Oxford 
Dictionary told me! 

Now, some of these days you can organize a hay based din- 
ner! 

OK, I don't know what do you'll think about these oddities, 
but I'm very proud about them. If you use it, please tell that 
they came from my book, because there are not many things 
to discover about Carroll work for a writer who is so far from 
Oxford! 

Eduardo Stilman 
Argentina 
stilman@overnet. com. ar 

Readers will recall Stilman s work with Jorge Luis Borges 
in KL 55. A new, annotated centenary edition of his Spanish 
translation of the Alice books, the Snark, "The Wasp in the 
Wig", and about 200 letters will be published in July or 
August. Meanwhile, the synchronicity of his letter with Alice 
Krinsky s article (p. 7) is delightful. 

I have a website on Alice that I think LCSNA members might 
enjoy viewing. The website is called 'The Many Faces of 
Alice" and is based on a study of the illustrators of A W that 
I do with my fourth grade students at the Dalton School in 
New York City. The site includes a chapter from my book 
(Fantasy Literature for the Elementary Classroom, Scho- 
lastic Professional Books, 1995), a student packet, an anno- 
tated bibliography (appropriate for a study with children, by 
no means comprehensive), links, and, most importantly, a 
complete illustrated and annotated Alice done by my class. 
My interest in creating the site is in communicating how 
much children can enjoy the book. Too many adults, espe- 
cially educators, seem to have decided that it is no longer a 
book for children. I so disagree. With the right approach it 
can be a wonderful experience for children. My class of fourth 
graders range from those who dislike reading to those who 
read at very high levels. I have been doing this unit for eight 
years and it is always liked by every single child in my class. 
I believe that anyone who takes the time to look through our 
Alice will sense the children's complete enjoyment in the 





book and the study. The address is: www.dalton.org/ms/alice. 

Monica Edinger 

The Dalton School 

New York 

edinger@dalton.org 

SNMEdinger@scholastic.com 

The Catholic World's brief review of Alice s Adventures in 
Wonderland which appeared unsigned, as was the journal's 
custom, in the June 1869 issue is sometimes cited as one of 
the early negative reviews of the book. It is a review of the 
Lee & Shepard edition of 1 869 and is quite brief: 

'These adventures are most wonderful, even for Wonder- 
land. One cannot help regretting that children should be en- 
tertained in this way instead of by some probable or possible 
adventures. They are well written and the illustrations are 
excellent." 

What the Catholic reviewer preferred in children's literature, 
however, is clear from the review immediately preceding the 
brief dismissal of Wonderland. The book, Dotty Dimple at 
School, also published by Lee & Shepard in 1869, was part of 
the "Dotty Dimple" series of stories by Rebecca Sophia Clarke 
(1833-1 906). This is what the reviewer concluded about the 
Dotty Dimples: 

'They are all admirably written; for children's stories, they 
are almost perfect. They teach important lessons without 
making the children feel that they are taught them, or giving 
them an inclination to skip over those parts. If the little folks 
get hold of these books, they will be certain to read them, and 
ever afterward count Miss Dotty Dimple and dear little Prudy 
among their very best friends." 

One wonders where the Dotty Dimple Society is today? 

August Imholtz 
Beltsville, MD 




Just a brief note to let you know about something I found. 

I'm reading a novel in which a woman has to give up her 
identity and disappear in the witness protection program. So 
she chooses to call herself Alice Carroll. I thought "Hey, 
that's curious!". Well, it wasn't curious, because she chose 
it on purpose. 

"Alice in Wonderland, Lacey would think as she passed the 
time in that enclosure, watching her identity disappear." And 
later, 'That was when Lacey had chosen her new name, Alice 
Carroll, after Alice in Alice s Adventures in Wonderland and 
Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll. It fit her situ- 
ation perfectly." Isn't it funny how you keep meeting Alice? 

The novel is Pretend You Don t See Her by Mary Higgins 
Clark. It seems like a personal tribute to Alice and Wonder- 
land. 



Lucia Franchini 
Como, Italy 



11 




"Lacey" could itself be a reference to the three girls who, 
according to the Dormouse, lived in the well ("Elsie, Lacie, 
and Tillie " - small cameos for the Liddell sisters Lorina 
Charlotte (L.C.), Lacie (an anagram of Alice), and Edith, 
known as Matilda.) The book referred to was a 1997 best- 
seller, ISBN: 067 157 52 IX. 

After reading the last copy of the fatter, fuller and extremely 
informative Knight Letter, I thought I would drop you a line 
in order to clarify some points and perhaps jump-start the 
debate Joel alluded to in his last "Ravings". First I will deal 
with the clarifications and then with the related topic of the 
nonsense versus "nonsense" debate. 

As I felt that August's explanation for one of the puns I've 
discovered was a bit too brief and therefore might mystify 
some of your readers, I will explain it in a little more detail. In 
both The Letters of Lewis Carroll and Lewis Carroll a Biog- 
raphy, Morton Cohen includes an incident regarding Carroll 
and one of his "child friends" — an incident which Cohen 
appears at a complete loss to explain. Here is what transpired, 
told in Lottie's words, in a letter she sent to her mother: 

The first thing he did after shaking hands with me and asking 
if I was Miss Rix, was to turn me round and look at my back. 
I wondered what on earth he was doing, but he said that he 
had been made to expect a tremendous lot of hair, and that he 
hadn't had the least idea of what I was like, except that he 
had a vague vision of hair. 

The pun is easier to see and understand if one separates the 
linguistic components which Carroll manipulated — in this 
case (1) "Lottie Rix" and (2) "lot of hair". Once this step is 
taken, the first clue in solving the above riddle is that "Lot" is 
shared by both (1) and (2). What remains unaccounted for in 
( 1) is "tie" — pronounced like the letter "t" — and "Rix" and 
what remains of (2) is "of hair". Now taking the "t" and Rix we 
have the Greek word for hair — xpix "trix". So when Carroll, 
who knew Greek, met Lottie Rix, this clever wordsmith forged 
this ingenious play on words: Lot-t-Rix means "a lot (of) 
hair"! This I hope fully explains the nature of this pun and 
the trick Carroll pulled on Lottie, Cohen and others who have 
read or studied the letter. 

The above is more complicated than many of the puns found 
peppered throughout Carroll's "nonsense" (this term is in 
quotations as it is by far not settled that Carroll in fact wrote 
nonsense) and should give an idea of Carroll's range in lan- 
guage usage. However, it is the nonsense versus "nonsense" 
question, which I feel should be honestly and deeply con- 
sidered at this point by anyone who has gotten any meaning 
out of Carroll's books. 

Perhaps I am wrong in the way I formulate the problem but 
what follows is partly the way that I see things. First, is there 
not a major dilemma and set of contradictions for those who 
write in support of Carroll as a writer who was wholly de- 
voted to nonsense in his most famous books? Doesn't Carroll 
in the preface to The Hunting of the Snark vehemently deny 



writing nonsense in either this poem or in his previous works? 
Must this, and other similar statement, be taken as a joke? 
And, if so, why? 

Second, if Carroll wrote nonsense, wouldn't that make Carroll 
into a type of Idiot Savant of literature, a writer who wrote 
long masterpieces without any type of rational system to 
help him out? He would have had to write some of the most 
popular books in English without having the least rational 
idea of how he did it. And, if that is not too hard to swallow, 
it must be remembered that this is the same man who is today 
accepted as being "ultrarational", who had a "rage for order" 
and made his calling mathematics and logic! All of these 
characteristic and disciplines are a far cry from the intuitive 
role attributed to Carroll ! 

Third, why is it that Carroll scholars refuse to directly ac- 
count for the different types of nonsense. Surely the Alices 
and the Snark are not gibberish! Don't these books hold 
some meaning even to those who devote the smallest amount 
of time to them? What could possibly be gained by the latest 
champion of a "Carrollian nonsense reading" to say that the 
meaning of the Snark and the Alices is "anti-meaning"? What 
could the word "anti-meaning" stand for in this instance? 
Isn't this type of contradiction much harder to swallow than 
to consider that Carroll may have used a type of language (a 
subset of English) which has only been partially understood? 

Fourth, and related to the last point, is the question regard- 
ing the line between ignorance and nonsense. Is it good 
enough to say that because I do not understand something 
and others also do not understand it then that something 
must be nonsensical, have no meaning to offer, and/or that it 
is "anti-meaning"? 

A good example of what I am talking about might be to imag- 
ine finding a person who uttered sounds which no one un- 
derstood. In my opinion it would be foolish, if not intellectu- 
ally dishonest, to categorically state that this person must be 
speaking nonsense or that their meaning was "anti-mean- 
ing". Someone who thought the person was speaking an 
unknown, yet real, language and wanted to learn it would 
probably ask of his/her detractors "how could you or any- 
one ever truly know that this person was uttering nonsense?" 
Perhaps God (for those who believe) could know true non- 
sense from that which appears as nonsense but how could 
we ever make this distinction? What if some of those who 
listened to the person's sounds decided that in fact this 
"strange person" might be trying to communicate something 
with these sounds, that in fact these sounds were part of a 
real language? This idea that the "nonsensical" sounds could 
be part of a decipherable language would definitely become 
more and more plausible if it was found that the "strange 
person" was known to speak and write perfect English, was 
famous around the globe for his linguistic riddles, puzzles, 
and puns, had studied the theory of languages (including 
cryptography! ), was a mathematician, a logician, and a con- 
trol freak in everything he did! 



12 



cccc 



After reviewing just some of the problems of the nonsense/ 
antimeaning side, I ask, "wouldn't, it be much easier, and 
perhaps 'more honest', to merely say that Carroll's famous 
books, as far as some of you know, appear to be nonsense?" 
Why isn't it possible that Carroll had a system which has not 
been discovered because he: was very clever in the manipu- 
lation of language; liked to pull tricks on people; and had 
studied cryptology (going so far as to invent some of his 
own methods of secret encryption and encoding!) Therefore 
I ask: what are scholars afraid of regarding the finding of 
solid meaning within Carroll's works? What could possibly 
be so unpleasant that some would try not only to irrationally 
do away with their curiosity but also to suppress the natural 
curiosity of others who wish to attempt to understand Carroll? 
If we all love Carroll's works why do we all have to agree to 
love them only in an unresearched, one-dimensional way — 
particularly when so much evidence points in the opposite 
direction? Why can't there be two equal and inter-related 
interpretations — a nonsensical and a "nonsensical'Vratio- 
nal or a Carrollian and a Dodgsonian — to reflect the paradox 
that was our beloved author? Given all of these and other 
equally important reasons, it appears that the nonsense/ 
antimeaning scholars may have had their legs pulled by a 
wily Carroll and now they are too stubborn to admit the pos- 
sibility of this massive type of joke taking place. Perhaps this 
is where the fear is ultimately found. 

However, I remain open to others' opinions if only anyone 
can and would be intellectually courageous enough to try to 
deal directly and openly with some of the questions I pose. 
Not only do I claim that the "anti-meaning/nonsense" read- 
ing of Carroll as a concept appears to be rubbish and to be 
philosophically bankrupt, but I also claim to be able to present 
hundreds of examples that show exactly where Carroll's sys- 
tem of "nonsense" emerged from, how it developed and also 
how it ultimately functions within the narratives. I believe 
that the "strange person", Carroll, has very much attempted 
to communicate with us, but in his own special way — with 
his tricky talk, parlance of puns, and round-about riddles. 
After one hundred years since this gifted wordsmith's death, 
isn't it time we paid attention to his language by following 
his clues in order to understand his books! The first neces- 
sary step, in my opinion, is for scholars to stop underesti- 
mating Carroll — a man who always took care of the sense 
and allowed the sounds to take care of themselves. 

Thank you for allowing me to put in my two cents in defense 
of "nonsense" and I look forward to hearing the "other side" 
of this important issue in upcoming Knight Letters. 

Fernando J. Soto 
alphbeth@hotmail.com 

Whoever composed the quiz (AX 56) must have had only a 
cursory familiarity with Vladimir Nabokov's life and works. 
The first question in the quiz asks: "What writer, in later 
years a highly regarded American novelist, translated Lewis 
Carroll's books into Russian?" The answer states, "Vladimir 
Nabokov, 1 923 ." The writer is identified, but what does " 1 923" 






signify? The reader will surely conclude that the quiz trans- 
formed itself into a puzzle. 

Fan Parker, Ph.D. 
New York 

/ don 't know how the plural slipped in. VN s esteemed trans- 
lation of AW (roughly transliterated: Anya v Strane 
Chudes^ was first published in Berlin in 1923 under his 
pseudonym V. Sirin. 

One of my favorite pastimes is searching for forty-twos that 
appear in Carroll's works. I have submitted several new ones 
that I have found to the Knight Letter, Bandersnatch, and 
Jabberwocky. I may have found another, which may be of 
interest to our members, as it is somewhat eerie. 

Carroll died on 14 January 1898. He met Alice on 25 April 
1 856. Subtracting the year he met Alice from the year he died, 
you get 42. In fact, the exact date is only a bit more than a 
month off. 

I suppose it is possible to come up with forty-two with any 
number of calculations. Yet, it is still a bit spooky that he 
knew Alice for 42 years. 

Rich Gilbert 
dormouse@mailcity.com 



Thank you very much for a lively KL #56. You most certainly 
did not offend me with you pro-technology stance two is- 
sues back — discussion is what I like, and there was plenty of 
member discussion in #56. 

I was interested in Mr. Abbe's observation that the book of 
Job contains forty-two chapters. Perhaps it's time to reopen 
this subject for us newcomers. Do you think Dodgson iden- 
tified himself with Job? I have always felt that he valued that 
certain number, aside from the mathematical feats he could 
perform with it, because Christ descended forty-two genera- 
tions from Abraham, according to the book of Matthew. 
Matthew lists these generations in groups of fourteen. There 
are several references in the Bible which have led some inter- 
preters to identify the number "seven" with God the Father. 
Fourteen is twice seven, a possible reference to the second 
hypostasis of the Trinity, or Jesus Christ. It would follow 
that twenty-one represents the Holy Spirit, and that the total 
(42) is the complete Holy Trinity. 

In Douglas Adam's book The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Gal- 
axy (as most know), the most sophisticated computer in the 
universe, Deep Thought, is asked to determine the meaning 
of "life, the universe, and everything". After TA million years 
of deliberation, it comes up with the answer "forty-two". Is 
Adams (who I'm told has an affinity for English literature) 
saying that it takes the most sophisticated computer imagin- 
able seven and a half million years to reach the same conclu- 
sions as one technologically-unassisted Victorian mind? 

As to the subject Joel asked us to comment on (Mr. Soto's 

continued 



13 



investigation of new layers of meaning in Carroll's prose), I 
am reminded of some of our more scholarly reviews of old 
Busby Berkeley routines. What were once to me simple flights 
of imagination are so rife with imagery that I can't watch a 
single frame of one without speculating as to what Mr. Ber- 
keley really meant. However, this is far from unpleasant. It is 
always fun to ponder the possibilities, so long as one provi- 
sion (which Mr. Carroll might make of Mr. Soto) is recog- 
nized: that they are presented logically. 

I'd like to thank Stephanie Stoffel for her beautiful new Dis- 
coveries book. After Mr. Cohen's masterpiece, I too was skep- 
tical of any new Carroll biography. However, Lewis Carroll 
in Wonderland is an ornate and tasteful work, with a nice 
objective stance and a concise sense of detail. I enjoyed it 
very much. 

Lastly, I would find it very meaningful during Carroll's cente- 
nary if every member sent the Knight Letter a paragraph or 
two describing what he loves (generally or specifically) most 
about Carroll. Every member took the time to join the Society, 
and it would take little more to share some of those aspects 
which led to this membership. We may all love everything 
about Carroll, but each of us had something that communi- 
cates to us individually. It's very simple, and as an example, 
I'll list a few of mine. 1. I love wondering just how much 
Dodgson really loved Alice Liddell, and whether or not he 
wanted to marry her. 2. 1 love "Life's Pleasance" because it is 
so heartbreaking. 3. 1 love "Pig and Pepper" because its bal- 
ance of light and dark tantalized me as a child. I' m sure that it 
would prove wonderful and enlightening reading. 

William M. Schaefer 
Las Vegas 

/ 'm delighted to welcome you back to the Deanery Garden, 
William. I 'm even more elated to find you quoting from Doug 
Adams, which should put to rest the image of you as a 
technophobe. And J would very much like readers to submit 
their own "Why I love Lewis Carroll ". 

You outdid yourself with the Knight Letter this quarter, even 
without the original art covers that I like. First, I was thrilled 
to see the Burgess Meredith obit that I had sent you men- 
tioned! Second, Fernando Soto sounds like a right case. But 
enthusiastic! Third, I don't know enough about mathematics 
to even have an anxiety complex, so the exchange with Prof. 
Abeles and the code article were perfectly opaque. Fourth, 
the review of the Stoffel Alice book made me feel au courant 
as hell. And finally, the blotting paper covers had me think- 
ing, 'They can't be!" But they were! I've spent so much of 
my life tied to the whipping post I can't help but wonder if 
you will receive any criticism for your rather antic sense of 
humor. 

Cindy Watter 
Napa,CA 

Many thanks for your feedback. Although Joel was a bit 
reluctant at first to go with my "blotter paper" covers, as 





we are all sick and tired of defending Dodgson against 
spurious association with the drug culture, no one in the 
Society has decried my printing this "curious artifact", 
which reflects well on the open-mindedness and intelligence 
of our membership. 

Guest editorial 

Dear Ms. Stoffel, 

I was interested to see your book about Lewis Carroll and 
Alice in the Ashmolean Museum recently. 

I wanted to write to you about the following idea. My hus- 
band came home from the pub recently and mentioned that 
he and a friend had been discussing the question "Why do 
mirrors invert horizontally and not vertically?" 

I was not much interested in the scientific reasons but, being 
a lifelong Alice fan, I immediately thought of Through the 
Looking-Glass. Tweedledum and Tweedledee are certainly 
horizontal mirror images of each other, but it occurred to me 
that the White Knight (my favourite character) constantly 
attempts to become a vertical mirror image of Alice, as he 
falls off his horse so frequently, usually headfirst. His method 
of getting over a gate (by balancing on his head on top of the 
gate, and then bringing his feet over) is also an attempt at 
vertical imagery. Perhaps this represents (either consciously 
or unconsciously) Carroll's desire for a relationship with Alice, 
and his awareness of the foolish and impossible nature of 
this desire, because of the age difference. The White Knight 
is portrayed as quite an old man, whose tumbles make him 
look foolish. 

I wondered what you thought about this, and whether any 
critics had picked up on it. I have read that one critic has 
noted that the White Knight's problem is that he has not 
come to terms with gravity, but now I think I know why. 
Perhaps there is a pun on gravity, too — gravity and folly. 

I would be very interested to hear what you think, and what 
other members of the Lewis Carroll Society think! 

Hannah Boyle 
Oxford, England 

Dear Mrs. Boyle, 

Thank you for writing, and for passing on your conundrums. 
I started thinking about mirrors, and I think the pub puzzle is 
more one of semantics than science. A mirror — an ordinary 
flat one — doesn't really invert things horizontally. It reflects 
whatever is directly opposite it, wherever it occurs on the 
plane. So, the top of your head is still at the top, and your feet 
at the bottom. Your left hand is still at your left, and your 
right is still at your right. The appearance of right/left inver- 
sion comes because your reflection looks like another per- 
son facing you, whose right hand is your left, but of course 
it isn't really. It's still your left hand to your left. Books ap- 
pear to be inverted because we read asymmetrically — the 
letters and words (most of them) aren't symmetrical, and the 
whole reading process only works in one direction. If a mirror 
actually inverted things from right to left, in the same way 
one imagines things at the top could be at the bottom in a 




14 



vertical inversion, then when we looked at a mirror, we would 
see the things behind us to our right as being behind us to 
your left, and a brooch on our left shoulder would be in- 
verted to our real right (still on the left of our mirror self). But 
mirrors don't do that — the reflection is directly across from 
the real object. I don't know if I explained that too well — it 
took me some time just to put my finger on the problem. 

Now, your ideas about Looking-Glass are certainly thought- 
provoking. I think we can say that Carroll did consciously 
make the White Knight the opposite of Alice, contrasting his 
abstraction and ineffectiveness with her directness, and vigor, 
and sureness — but I hadn't thought of it in terms of a verti- 
cal inversion. I don't know if anyone has attempted to com- 
ment in one essay on all the mirror imagery in TTLG. I find it 
a little frustrating how inconsistent it is. Carroll raises a lot of 
evocative and disturbing issues caused by twinning things 
or living backwards, but they're just little tidbits tossed in. I 
do think he intended all the puns of gravity — the force of 
nature, seriousness, and the grave itself. Maybe it is useful 
to imagine Carroll seeing himself as a vertical inversion of his 
child friends — it works better as an image than regular mirror 
inversion — he is old (and he started referring to himself as 
old at quite a young age), weary, and overly intellectualized, 
while they are young, fresh, and spontaneous. The whole 
idea of using mirror reversal as a literary device is compli- 
cated — because when we ordinarily talk about mirror images 
we can mean that the two things in question are identical or 
opposite. It's a rich, complex metaphor, and the idea of in- 
verting things vertically brings even more to it. 

Thanks for bringing this up — I'll pass it on to more LC people 
and see what comes up. 

Stephanie Lovett Stoffel 
Winston-Salem, NC 



A succinct and helpful essay on looking-glass inversions is 
present in Gardner s Annotated Alice, footnotes 4 and 5 to 
TTLG, Chapter 1, which also suggests further reading, as 
does the corresponding footnote in More Annotated Alice. 
/ also do not recall having seen the "vertical inversion " 
meme presented in just this way. To me, the biggest mirror 
inversion mystery is why two mirrors mounted at 90° and 
looked at straight on do an actual left-right inversion, let- 
ting us see ourselves as we are seen. 




Queries 

I am compiling a list of A lice- related advertisements. I would 
like the name of the product, a short description, and the date 
and magazine name if known, and a reproduction if possible. 
I think just North American ones for now. Also the same for 
political cartoons. 

Joel Birenbaum 

2765 Shellingham Drive 

Lisle, IL 60532 

joel.birenbaum@lucent.com 

I am mailing out a letter to everyone who contributed to the 
Maxine Schaefer Fund, letting them know what we are doing 
with it and giving them a bookplate. If you are a supporter of 
the Maxine Schaefer Memorial Children's Outreach Fund and 
you did not receive a letter from the LCSNA concerning the 
Fund in February to please contact me about it, because we 
would not want anyone to have inadvertently been left off 
the list. 

Stephanie Stoffel 
1092W4thSt. 
Winston-Salem NC 27 1 1 

I recently ran across this listing: "The Hunting of the Snark, 
MP00019,25min., 16mm Animated Film, 1994PJ,narratedby 
James Earl Jones." Does any reader know how to track down 
a copy? 

Joel Birenbaum 

Mrs. Alice Berkey, a founding member of the LCSNA had a 
devastating winter. A water heater in her home exploded, 
flooding her basement, and destroying years and years worth 
of stored Carroll material and ephemera. Some of her friends 
have mounted a campaign to help rebuild her collection, fully 
realizing that nothing can truly replace her treasures. If you 
have any duplicate or un-needed material — ads, letters, post- 
ers, articles, playscripts, drawings, pamphlets, etc. — which 
could be spared, they will find a loving home. She lives at 1 27 
Alleyne Drive, Pittsburgh PA, 15215. 

Sandor Burstein 
San Francisco, CA 



Illustration credits: 

Front cover: collage. Background: an illustration to TTLG by Barry Moser, published by the University of 
California Press, 1983. Foreground: front cover of Lewis Carroll's funeral keepsake, cited elsewhere in this 
issue. 

p. 1 8: Catnap by Llisa Eames Demetrios. Alice dozes (in a chair designed by the artist's grandparents). 

p.24: from an unpublished work by Walt Kelly (1913-1973), American cartoonist (Pogo). ©1997, 0.G.PI. 



15 



Ravings from the Writing Desk 
of Joel Birenbaum 

What a marvelous year this has been and it has just 
begun! This Centenary year was one of great promise and 
one we were all looking forward to. It is turning out to be 
better than any of us expected. I would like to share with you 
some of the joys of being President of the LCSNA in this 
special year. 

Here is reason number 42. 1 received a letter and a 
photo of a piece of Alice sculpture from member Dr. Morgan 
Hostetter, stating that I must publicize this artist's work, whose 
name is Graham Piggott, and who lives in a small town near 
Oxford. The picture was not particularly clear so it was hard 
to see the detail of the piece. As it was, I was planing to go to 
Oxford the next week for the Centenary dinner at Christ Church 
(reason number 1 why you want to be President of the 
LCSNA), so I thought I would check this out for myself. 

I made arrangements to meet Graham and to see his 
work on a Sunday. Any of you who have been to England 
know there is not much to do on a Sunday except see the 
countryside (not that that's a bad thing). I walked into the 
front room of a small old house in Bladon which had been 
turned into a viewing gallery. All of the walls were lined with 
shelves and the shelves were full of ceramic sculptures. The 
shelf on the left side of the door contained several Alice 
pieces which caught my eye right away. I'm afraid I spent a 
minute or two gazing at those pieces before I remembered to 
say hello. Alice collectors can be so rude at times, but at least 
it's unintentional. After the initial greetings I excused myself 
to look at the work a bit more. I loved Graham's work. His 
Alice character was varied but always very good. Most people 
have trouble with the Alice character regardless of the me- 
dium and here it was obvious that this was a simple task for 
him. I learned later that he used his daughters as models as 
they became the right age, hence the variance of Alices. What 
proved to me that I really liked his work was that I liked his 
non-Alice pieces (heresy, I know). He does the Wind and the 
Willows, dragons, pigs with attitude, and other fantasy fig- 
ures as well as portraits (if that is the correct name for real-life 
studies in clay). 

I spent three hours there that Sunday talking to 
Graham and his wife, Corri. Actually, that day I spoke more 
with Corri than with Graham. I went back the next Sunday to 
pick up a couple of pieces I had purchased and spent an- 
other three hours talking to Graham. Graham Piggott is a quiet, 
unassuming sort of man who generally communicates 
through his craft, which is creating the most wonderful pot- 
tery figures and scenes. However, he is more than a deft 
craftsman, he is an artist. His original training was in art and 
that experience has left him with an eye for composition which 
adds a quality to his works that plays in the corners of your 
mind. You know the kind of thing you can't quite put your 
finger on, but it makes the piece work. 

It is the essence of the artist that inhabits these 
pieces. The facial expressions provide the perfect emotional 
setting and these still lifes seem to have motion. The scenes 



blend in a most comfortable manner and the piece always fits 
the space. This can only be the result of an artist who has 
found his place and is doing what he was always meant to 
do. How lucky for him. How lucky for us. 

How did I learn all of this from a man who doesn't 
talk much? Sitting in front of him and putting a piece of clay 
in his hands. The artist transforms as does the clay. He ad- 
mits that people are much easier to talk to when he has a 
piece of clay in his hands. When he told me that he much 
prefers to work from models over photographs, I didn't fully 
understand the reason behind the remark. I assumed he meant 
it was easier to get the three dimensional aspects correctly, 
which of course is true. What he also gets is the feeling of 
the subject - the inner self. He doesn't want his model to just 
sit there and be still (as Dodgson had to when he was photo- 
graphing). He wants you to be naturally animated. He catches 
the expressions as you speak. The more you talk, the better 
feel he gets for who you are and the better the sculpture 
becomes. In this process another thing happens. You get to 
know the sculptor. So as the clay gets more and more form so 
does the mutual understanding of artist and subject. Both 
are marvelous things to behold. 

So you want to know more about his .4 /zee in Won- 
derland work? He does great pieces after Tenniel with back- 
ground trees that are Rackhamesque, but he is best when he 
is being original. His Alice sitting in a big Victorian chair with 
the Queen of Hearts on her lap pointing that menacing finger 
is superb. If you listen closely enough you can hear "Off 
with her head!" Meanwhile, other characters peer over the 
sides of the chair. (Before you get too excited, this particular 
piece is not for sale.) He also likes to do commission work. 
For those of you who have not tried to get artists to do this, 
you can't realize what a thrill this is. Yes, you can be put in 
your favorite Alice scene. Yeah sure, I guess I'm the only 
one who has pictured himself at the Mad Tea Party. 

Graham's character pieces are priced between £100 
and £900. He has some smaller pieces such as candle hold- 
ers, cups, and vases with painter card characters (mostly, but 
a few Alices) on them for between £20 and £70. He doesn't 
accept credit cards; well, there had to be a slight catch. Your 
best bet is to go to the studio and see for yourself. He is 
located at 2 Manor Rd., Bladon, Woodstock, OX20 1RT, UK 
and the phone number is 1 1 44 1 993 8 1 1 489. Some examples 
of his work can be found on our site at www.lewiscarroll.org/ 
arthtml. 

I was soon after this (January 14) lucky enough to 
be able to attend the Lewis Carroll Centenary Dinner at Christ 
Church, 1 00 years to the day after his passing I consider this 
to be the Crown Jewel of the centenary events. To be cel- 
ebrating the life of "our author" in the place that was most 
important in his life is a spiritual experience. I even got to say 
a few words on the Society's behalf and did try to relay the 
importance of the year for us. I inquired whether, just per- 
haps, Christ Church might be for sale as it is the perfect 
venue for such occasions, and it would be so much more 
convenient if it were in the US. This remark received the 



16 



expected response. Of course the ambiance that the history 
of Oxford provides could not be duplicated anywhere else. 

Let me backtrack a bit in the evening. Prior to the 
dinner, we were present at the opening of the Carroll pho- 
tography exhibit at the Christ Church Picture Gallery. The 
exhibit showed the range of Dodgson's subject matter in- 
cluding landscape, portraits of notables, young boys (yes, I 
said boys), and, of course, young girls. Many of these pho- 
tographs had not been published before and now are avail- 
able in the exhibition cata- 
log. It was a chance to 
view Dodgson's photo- 
graphs in the company of 
fellow enthusiasts and old 
friends and was a fitting 
start to a great evening. 

Next we headed 
for the smoking room for 
some port and friendly 
conversation. I'm afraid I 
monopolized Ralph 
Steadman's time in that 
room. As I am a collector 
of Mr. Steadman's books 
as well as Alice books, I 
couldn't pass up the op- 
portunity. I found out that 
Ralph has a somewhat fa- 
natic core following in 
Kentucky of all places. I 
imagine this started when 
he covered the Kentucky 
Derby in that fated part- 
nership with Hunter S. Th- 
ompson. At any rate he 
was named a Kentucky 
Colonel (which makes 

some sense) and a Kentucky Admiral (which makes less 
sense in a land-locked state). 

I did manage to break away from Ralph for a bit to 
meet some new people. I was introduced to Mr. and Mrs. 
David Baker, the new owners of the Chestnuts in Guildford. 
They are delightful people and have an appreciation for the 
history of the house. There is some refurbishing that will be 
done and they said they would let us know if they found 
anything under the floorboards. I also met Caroline Luke, 
the daughter of Philip Dodgson Jacques, and the new family 
executor of the estate. She seemed amazed and pleased (there 
should be a portmanteau word here) [ "plameazed"?]at the 
attention given by strangers to people she knows as rela- 
tives. She is a charming person and I'm sure will maintain the 
close relationship between the family and the Societies. 

That brings us back to the dinner. Dr. John Mason, 
former librarian at Christ Church, made the welcoming re- 
marks. The atmosphere was very formal, with the famous 
Herkoemer portrait of Charles Dodgson in attendance. Dr. 
Selwyn Goodacre said grace without missing a comma. The 



Serendipity 

"'Like many artists, Bach was a joker. 
He was always coming up with devices 
to fool the audience. He used tricks 
employing notes and letters, ingenious 
variations, bizarre fugues. For example, 
into one of his compositions for six 
voices, he slyly slipped in his own name, 
shared between two of the highest 
voices. Lewis Carroll, who was a math- 
ematician and a keen chess player as 
well as a writer, used to introduce acros- 
tics into his poems. There are some very 
clever ways of hiding things in music, in 
poems and in paintings.'" 

The Flanders Panel 

Arturo Perez-Reverte 

Tr. by Margaret Jull Costa 



meal was served with exactitude. Alice would have been in 
trouble here. You have to know which side the food will be 
served on and which is the proper fork to use. It made it quite 
clear where a book about a world that had an equally struc- 
tured but diametrically opposed set of rules might have been 
conjured. Then followed the equally formal toasts to Her 
Majesty the Queen, visitors to Christ Church, The House, 
Christ Church, Dean Liddell and his family, and Charles 
Lutwidge Dodgson. 

Now it was time for the 
after-dinner speeches. I had the 
honor of speaking first. At the 
urging of Ralph Steadman, my 
short speech had a lighter tone 
while still touching seriously on 
the import of the occasion. 
Charles Lovett, publications 
committee chairman of the 
LCSNA, presented a copy of our 
centenary publication In Memo- 
riam, Charles Lutwidge 
Dodgson. I felt proud, as we all 
should, of the quality of the 
book (co-edited by Charles 
Lovett and August Imholtz) that 
was presented on our behalf to 
Christ Church on the evening of 
the centenary. The gift was very 
well received. Members wishing 
their own copy (as who would 
not?) are referred to p. 1 9. 

Ralph Steadman had 
hinted throughout the evening 
that his talk would be a bit unor- 
thodox. He did not disappoint. 
One might have expected a som- 
ber, serious talk on the life of 
Lewis Carroll and that would have been proper and suitable. 
What we got was a chapter of Carroll-like prose delivered by 
a man wearing a home made Mad Hatter's hat. It was marvel- 
ously silly. Ralph told of a young girl's fantastic voyage on a 
train. The story was replete with transformations, wordplay, 
and pure fantasy. To be sure there were a couple of groaners, 
but Ralph took it in stride. After all, he well realized that he 
was emulating Carroll but was not quite his equal. I think the 
exercise gave him a better appreciation of Carroll 's innate tal- 
ent. On the other hand, Carroll's drawing ability does not 
approach Steadman's. I spent equal time laughing at Ralph's 
tale and scanning the audience for reaction. I thought they 
took the unexpected presentation quite well. 

The evening was brought to a close by Anne Clark 
Amor, President of the LCS (U.K.) As I had done in my talk 
that evening, I now again congratulate our friends at the LCS 
for a job well done. The centenary has provided Carrollians 
around the world the opportunity to pay homage to this most 
deserving man, and perhaps introduce him to yet another 
generation. 

continued 



17 



So, for me, this year might have to be subtitled "So 
Much Carroll, So Little Time". There are so many great Carroll 
events that I cannot attend them all, but I am grateful for 
those I could. Our own mega-event of the weekend of March 
28 succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. It is hard to imag- 
ine having five days of Carroll celebrations and all of them 
turning out so well. A week before, when it was snowing in 
New York, Janet Jurist promised me that the weather would 
be perfect for our outdoor Carroll tour of New York. I have to 
admit I had my doubts, but even she could not have pre- 
dicted a record setting temperature of 83 degrees and bright 
sunshine. 

Saturday's events are reported by Mark elsewhere 
in this issue, but I have to make a brief comment on them. Our 
pre-opening visit to see Jon Lindseth's Carroll exhibit at the 
Grolier Club was a special treat. Some of you may not realize 
that we have some of the best Carroll resources (people and 
documentation) in the world right here in the LCSNA. It was 
exceedingly kind of Jon and the Grolier Club to go to the extra 
trouble of having the exhibit open to our members during our 
meeting weekend. 

Later that day, the official Spring Meeting at NYU 
provided me with a totally unexpected personal thrill. The 
LCSNA rewarded me with an inscribed pocket watch. On the 
outside it had the initials JMB (coincidentally my initials) 
and on the inside it said "For Joel M. Birenbaum / Who Was 
Never Late For Us / LCSNA / 1998". I was taken aback. I 
thought they must think I have done a particularly good job, 
because my term doesn't end until November, or else they 
are trying to get rid of me early. As I am not leaving early, I 
will assume it is the former. I want to thank you all for this 
lovely gift. From now on I will have to wear a waistcoat to 
meetings. Oh, my ears and whiskers. 

I do want to make special mention here of one item 
from our dinner honoring Morton Cohen. Morton of course 
did have the final word - as always. I found it touching that 
he singled out the strong lifelong friendships that he made in 
the LCSNA as the best benefit of membership. He went on to 
say that these had a great positive impact on his life and he 
couldn't imagine his life otherwise. I, too, would like to echo 
these feelings. 

This is probably a good time to remind you that our 
next meeting will be on Nov. 7 at UCLA and Nov. 8 at the 
Huntington Library. I hope you can join us. 




Two Deaths in January, 1898 

by Stephanie Bolster 

Those flowers you sent to Dodgson's funeral 
took your place in the crowd. Beside his stone 
a perfumed heap of lilies and gentleness 
of babies' breath, your name on the white card 
still a child's. You spared mourners 
your real face: fallen, etched with lines. 

At Father's service you wore black as required, 
let tears roll serenely down your cheeks, let 
Reginald's husbandly elbow hook around your own. 
Condolences blurred to the letter , hollow 
disbelief , so sorry — and this on top of 
the other. You nodded at appropriate times. 

For months your griefs brushed past each other, 

draped and faceless as the men who left them. 

On a wall inside the Deanery appeared a spreading 

damp the servants covered with a chair 

and wouldn't let you see. It seemed the profile of a 

man. 

Then one morning, alone in your husband's unused 
study, you found in a whiff of ink the word father 

and your ears buzzed, stars spun you 
into darkness. Your orphaned body rocked 
as on a boat down a river one ancient, golden 
afternoon, but no one to tell the stories, no one to row. 

[The Reverend C. L. Dodgson died on 14 January 1898. 
Alice's father, the Very Reverend H.G.Liddell, died four 
days later. Stephanie Bolster's White Stone: The Alice 
Poems is now in print. See "Far-flung ", p. 2 3 for de- 
tails and ordering information. Recommended!] 




18 




Carrollian 

Notes 



Mischmasch 



reference to hat- makers, but merely means 'as venomous as 
an adder. ' The Germans call the viper 'Natter. '" - Edwards s 
Words, Facts, and Phrases. 

Simplifying this somewhat, "mad as a hatter" was a play on 
words (with "adder" becoming "hatter"). 

Though the mercury/hatters/crazy explanation appears to fit 
the term, it fits it only retrospectively for at the time Carroll 
coined the phrase "mad" meant "venomous", not "insane". 

Publications of the LCSNA 



Delivering a slide-illustrated lecture on the worlds of Alice 
and Carroll last November, Dr. Sandor Burstein brought a few 
items along for "show and tell". Among these was Carroll's 
oak cribbage board with unusual pull-out markers instead of 
the usual push- in pins. From the audience a gentleman arose, 
excused himself to visit his room, and returned with an iden- 
tical cribbage board which had belonged to his late wife's 
family (of course lacking the 'This was the property of Lewis 
Carroll" sticker). Dr. Burstein's board bore the serial number 
1219, and to the astonishment of all, the other board's num- 
ber was 1220! We imagined Dodgson and the gentleman's 
connection visiting a game shop at the same time, and pur- 
chasing the same items. Perhaps the revised edition of the 
Diaries will reveal the date. 

Someone correlating Chinese astrology with Academy 
Awards noted that Disney's A W, nominated for Best Music 
Scoring, was made in 1 95 1 , The Year of the Hare. 

Barbara Mikkelson on The Urban Legends Page (http:// 
www.snopes.com/index.html) has this to say on 'The Origin 
of 'Mad as a Hatter"': 

Claim: Working each day with mercury-soaked pelts turned 
hatters crazy, hence the saying. Status: False. 

Though the pop etymology origin (mercury fumes and bea- 
ver hats) is widely believed, that's not where the saying came 
from. For those interested in a little cite-seeing tour, here's 
the entry for '"Mad as a Hatter' refers to madness or hatters" 
in.4 Dictionary of Common Fallacies by Philip Ward (1980): 

"Lewis Carroll with his penchant for linguistic games pre- 
sumably knew perfectly well that his 'Mad Hatter' meant 'a 
venomous adder', but since his readers may have been mis- 
led by Tenniel's drawings, it should be pointed out that 'mad' 
meant 'venomous' and 'hatter' is a corruption of 'adder', or 
viper, so that the phrase 'mad as an atter ' originally meant 'as 
venomous as a viper'. 

Here's an much older cite of the same stripe. From William 
Henry P. Phyfe's 1901 5,000 Facts And Fancies: 

"In the Anglo-Saxon the word 'mad' was used as a synonym 
for violent, furious, angry, or venomous. In some parts of 
England and in the United States particularly, it is still used in 
this sense. 'Atter' was the Anglo-Saxon name for an adder, 
or viper. The proverbial saying has therefore probably no 



This is an auspicious time to remind our members, and mem- 
bers-to-be, that one of the directions of our Society is the 
publication of books, scholarly and otherwise, which fulfill 
our stated purpose, which is "to encourage study in the life, 
work, times and influence of Lewis Carroll." Our contribu- 
tions, from the Wasp in the Wig to our current (and past) 
selections are a source of great pride to us, and we invite our 
members to acquire and read these works. To encourage you 
further, there is a member discount on all of our publications. 

In Memoriam Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, edited by Charles 
Lovett and August A. Imholtz. In honor of the centenary of 
the death of Lewis Carroll the LCSNA has published a book 
of his obituaries and related pieces. The intent of this book is 
to give views of how Carroll was perceived around the world 
at the time of his death. Although the obituaries contain 
many factual errors, these are generally noted and then can 
be ignored in favor of experiencing the emotions felt by the 
papers' readers, the wide variety of perceptions, and the im- 
pact of Carroll's works on the general public. The book is 
bound in black cloth, stamped in silver and has 192 pages. 
The special centenary price for members is $10 and $20 for 
non-members; plus shipping. 

Proceedings of the Second International Lewis Carroll 
Conference, edited by Charles Lovett. For those of you who 
could not join us at the conference in June of 1 994, here is the 
next best thing. From June 9-12, fifty delegates to the Second 
International Lewis Carroll Conference met at the Graylyn 
Executive Conference Center of Wake Forest University. Talks 
were given covering a wide range of contemporary Carroll 
studies, from biography to bibliography, from literary criti- 
cism to popular culture. These talks have now been collected 
and published in a 192 page hardcover book. This volume 
represents a world view of Carroll, his work, his times, and 
his impact on society and culture. It also captures some of 
the magic of those four "happy summer days" when the spirit 
of Carroll and his dream-child Alice came alive. It will be a 
welcome addition to your library. Copies of the trade edition 
(red cloth, gilt decorated, pictorial dust wrapper) are $15 for 
members, otherwise $25; plus shipping. A deluxe edition, 
signed by the contributors, may be had for $50 + postage. 

The Pamphlets of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (a series). 
Between 1860 and 1897, Dodgson produced, in addition to 
the Alice books and his well-known other works, over 180 
articles, booklets, leaflets, and pamphlets. Varying greatly in 



19 



length and subject matter, they testify to Dodgson's unpar- 
alleled creativity and eclecticism. Collected now for the first 
time, these writings shed light on many of the intellectual 
and cultural enthusiasms of this eminent Victorian. Famed as 
a writer, photographer, and logician, Dodgson was also a 
moral crusader and diligent churchman who nourished a then- 
illicit passion for the theater. Two volumes in print to date: 

The Oxford Pamphlets of Lewis Carroll edited by Edward 
Wakeling. This is the first volume in the series, and contains 
Dodgson's writings dealing with Oxford politics, Oxford 
aesthetics, and the daily business of running the Senior Com- 
mon Room. Wakeling searched high and low to locate the 66 
items that fall into the category. Those who might think that 
this volume is only for the serious scholar will be pleased to 
know that Carroll's sense of humor is quite evident in these 
squibs, even on such dry topics as professors' salaries and 
the installation of heating vents. This is a serious work, and 
an important contribution to Carroll scholarship, but it is also 
enjoyable to read ISBN 0-8139-1250-4 $65.00 available from 
the University Press of Virginia, Box 3608 University Station, 
Charlottesville, VA 22903-0608. 

The Mathematical Pamphlets of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson 
and Related Pieces, edited by Francine Abeles. 420 pp. This 
volume, the second of the series, concentrates on the work 
associated with Dodgson's career as mathematical lecturer 
of Christ Church, Oxford. It was the first and only regular 
position he held and it enabled him to pursue his literary, 
photographical, logical and mathematical interests. Most of 
the material collected here has not appeared since the author's 
lifetime, and several pieces have never been recorded in the 
standard bibliographical references of Dodgson's work. 
Many items reflect Dodgson's duties to prepare students for 
the examinations that determined pass and honors degrees. 
However, some are recent discoveries and they provide evi- 
dence that he did important work that has not before been 
properly evaluated. Appearing in chronological order by 
mathematical subject, each section is preceded by an intro- 
ductory essay providing background information to assist 



both the general reader and the specialist. Several aspects of 
Dodgson's personality as well as important events in the 
Victorian period that influenced his views and the mathemati- 
cal topics he chose to write about are discussed in the gen- 
eral introduction. $58 for members, $65 others. + postage. 

The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits, Lewis 
Carroll's famous nonsense poem whimsically illustrated by 
Jonathan Dixon. This is a most handsome volume, 
underpricedat $20 ($15 for members). A deluxe edition lim- 
ited to 50 signed copies with an original sketch by the artist 
is available for $75. 

The Hunting of the Snark: An Agony in Eight Fits, puz- 
zlingly illustrated by Barry Moser. This volume is a large thin 
book in light blue wrappers numbered and initialed by Moser, 
listed for $35. 

Lewis Carroll: An Annotated International Bibliography 
1 960- 1977 by Edward Guiliano. A reference book for collec- 
tors and researchers. This book originally sold for $30 and 
now is available (while supply lasts) for $ 10 ($7 for members). 

Lewis Carroll and the Kitchensby Morton Cohen. This is a 
large paper bound book replete with Carroll photos of the 
Kitchens. $5 for members. 

Upcoming : 

Fran Abeles is working on the parliamentary pamphlets 
Mark Richards and Charlie Lovett on the logic pamphlets 

La Guida de Bragia. Introduction by Peter Heath, illustrated 
by Jonathan Dixon. 

CL. Dodgson (alias "Lewis Carroll") the catalogue from the 
centenary Grolier Club show, 128 pp. Twelve superb essays 
(Goodacre, Cohen, Wakeling, et.al.) and 1 14 illustrations cel- 
ebrate this exhibition and the life of the man. $20 ($15 for 
members) plus postage. Published by the Grolier Club, but 
we stock a few copies. 

Orders should be made to: Ellie Luchinsky, 18 Fitzharding 
Place, Owing Mills, MD 21117, unless otherwise stated. Post- 
age is $2 per volume within the U.S.; at cost outside. 



MOTHER GOOSE AND GRIMM/ by Mikt- Petei 




A6(C6 fM WO/vJP£RBR£Ap 



20 



A Novel Approach 

by Stephanie Stoffel 

Dreamhouse, by Alison Habens. New York: Picador, 1997. 
First published in the UK, 1994. $14 large format paperback. 
This wacky and wicked novel opens with Celia's 
preparations for the perfect engagement party, which she 
has planned since she was a little girl, in a beautiful scrap- 
book commemorating this yet-to-occur event. Unfortunately 
for the old Celia, her hated housemates have outrageous 
plans of their own for the same evening. However, this catas- 
trophe turns out to be the birth of a wonderful new Celia, 
who in the course of the night's events comes into being like 
the phoenix from the ashes. I shouldn't bring in a new meta- 
phor, though, because this book thoroughly parallels the 
Alice books, using Carroll's characters and scenarios to 
awaken Celia from her already dead and embalmed dream of 
marriage to the unseen possibilities of her self. It's not a 
parody or a satire; if a label is necessary, it's a roman a clef. 
I can imagine someone finding it overly clever, but I found it 
fun and full of energy, witty but not facile. Writing in a user- 
friendly version of Pynchon's style, Habens somehow man- 
ages to keep the Wonderland device so balanced with the 
integrity of the novel that the reader can enjoy the humor 
and richness of the device and still be involved in the charac- 
ters and action of the novel. Thanks to the depth of her 
Carrollian source material and her own creative use of it, 
Habens has written a novel that is so entirely a version of 
Alice that collectors need to have it on their shelves and so 
extremely entertaining and thought-provoking that they need 
to take it off the shelf and read it. 

The Great Pumpkin 

by August Imholtz 

At the Pumpkin Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland, last 
December, David Schaefer and the Imholtzes attended a per- 
formance of Alice in Wonderland — a musical with music and 
lyrics by Mark Andrew Beachy Enjoying a familiar cast of 
Wonderland characters who were basically correct, the audi- 
ence — over 60% children — did not seem to mind that the 
plot of the play wove in and out of Lewis Carroll's episodic 
chapters. The three Alices, representing her different sizes, 
were splendid, especially the young lead, Kimberly Wiles. In 
one of several gestures towards what I take to have been 
well-intentioned political correctness, Alice's changes of size 
were produced by eating a green bean rather than a mush- 
room. A Be-Bop Caterpillar (Reginald Moore) worked well in 
a conga-beat dialogue with Alice; and Denise Steadman, a 
professional Baltimore actress, gave a Thatcheresquely re- 
gal performance as the Queen of Hearts. Here and there a 





strain from Oz filtered through 
Beachy's lyrics, as in the lines on 
the size of the Two of Hearts and 
in the concluding — not Carroll's by a long chalk — "right to 
be happy" song. The enthusiastic child actors and imagina- 
tive sets made for an enjoyable afternoon's entertainment 
even if a Savile-Clark textual fidelity was (quite deliberately) 
not always maintained. 

An audio tape of the songs is available for $5 plus 
postage from: Pumpkin Theatre, 6229 North Charles Street, 
Baltimore, MD 21212. 

Opera Most Seria 

Alice: Opera in three acts 

Music: GiampaoloTestoni(1957-) 

Libretto: Danilo Bramati ( 1 956-), freely based on Lewis Carroll 

Premiere: Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Sicily, 30 April, 1993 

Live recording conducted by Daniele Callegari, with 
Alessandra Ruffini as Alice. Three CDs on Agora Musica 
#AG 107.3. Introductory material and synopsis in English 
and Italian; libretto in Italian only. 

Angst, uneasiness, violence, cruelty and obsession 
- these are the infrastructure of many an opera, and it is these 
values which permeate this interpretation. From the world of 
the Coniglio Bianco and II Gatto del Cheshire, a very adult 
Alice emerges "guilty, confused, defeated, swept up by an 
incomprehensible destiny." Fortunately for listeners, the 
music is neo-Romantic, lyric, melodious and superbly orches- 
trated, with some finely sung arias, ariosos and ensembles, 
sounding rather like the later work of Richard Strauss. The 
basso, Carlo Striuli, who portrays Ghiro (the dormouse) and 
the Grand Executioner (to whom the Queen is shouting) is a 
particular standout. It's an occasionally stirring, but always 
pleasurable listening experience, and this operaphile, for one, 
hopes it is produced again on the stage. 

/ tried several online services, and only 800.EVERYCD 
came through. They have a membership fee requirement, 
but there is a 30-day free trial period, during which you can 
cancel and not be charged the service fee. Contrariwise, 
you may very well wish to belong, as they are an excellent 
source of dijficult-to-find CDs. 



21 



From Our rar-ffiutp 

Art and Artifacts 

The Royal Mail in the U.K. will be issu- 
ing a set of stamps called "Magical 
Worlds", described as being "inspired 
by C.S.Lewis and Lewis Caroll [sic! I 
until yours truly suggested they cor- 
rect it], we look at the contribution of 
great authors in the world of children's 
literature." They will be released on 21 
July, http://www.royalmail.co.uk/ 
athome/ 

Envelopes for the LC Centenary "Offi- 
cial" First Day Covers at £7.50 and 
£12.50 from AG.Bradbury, 3 LinkRd, 
Stoneygate, Leicester LE2 3RA, U.K. 
[Stamps are not of Carroll, but things 
like "Endangered Species " featuring 
a dormouse. ] 

A boxed set of three A W Picture Soaps 
has been issued by Aidee International, 
Ltd. of England. 

Print of an A W painting, $ 1 9 unframed, 
from Susan Loy at Literary Calligraphy, 
Route 1, Box 5 6 A, Moneta VA 24121, 
540.297.7938 or 800.261.6325. 

An "I'm Late" quartz watch by Perfect 
Timing with the White Rabbit ($48) and 
a Humpty Dumpty cookie jar ($46) from 
The Trademark Collection. 
1.800.286.9070. 8806 ConsohdatedDrive, 
Soddy Daisy TN 37379. [Soddy Daisy?] 

Becky Johnson renders the Tenniel il- 
lustrations in colored pencil, and then 
makes wall-clocks from the result, in- 
scribing them to the buyer. 2447 Fall 
Fields Dr., Charlottesville VA 22911. 
804.973.5726. 

A hand-painted White Rabbit Limoges 
box with a tiny pocket- watch inside, in 
antiquated metal and standing 4" tall is 
available for $180 from Gumps, 
1 . 800.284. 8677 or www.gumps.com. 

The White Rabbit boutique in Carmel- 
By-The-Sea, California, seems to back 
up their claim to have "the largest se- 
lection of Alice in Wonderland col- 
lectibles in the world, as well as exclu- 
sive Alice one-of-a-kind finds. Here you 
can find Alice videos, postcards, vests, 




Correspondents 



posters, playing cards, pewter figurines, 
shirts, books, jewelry, tea, clocks, stick- 
ers, charms, garden statuary, music 
boxes, dolls, tea sets, watches, chess 
sets and much more, including rare 
books. We proudly carry Gladys Boalt's 
handmade A lice in Wonderland orna- 
ments and Kit Carson's wonderful Ster- 
ling Silver Alice character pins and ear- 
rings." Visit Dan and Jennifer Herron on 
Dolores St., l A block South of Ocean, 
Carmel, CA 93921; 408.624.2556; http:// 
www.TheWhiteRabbit.com; 
whtrabt@hotmail com/. 

AW/TTLG on audio cassette read by 
Cybill Shepherd and Lynn Redgrave 
from Dove Audio, 301 N. Canon Drive, 
Beverly Hills CA [you know the zip]. 

Jeweler Dee Sharp founded The Humpty 
Dumpty Club (http://members.aol.com/ 
humptyclub/) about ten years ago, for 
collectors of Humpty Dumptyana. She 
sells HD earrings for $30, pendants for 
$26 and up, charms for $ 1 6, tie-tack pins 
($25), and a gold charm ($190). http:// 
members.aol.com/deejewelry/ 
humpty.htm; DeeJewelry@aol.com; 
703.968.5848; PO.Box 315, Clifton VA 
20124. The club will point you to such 
items as: 

a HD musical miniature tea pot (£ 1 9) 
from Presents in Mind, 
www.PresentsInMind.co.uk, 
sales@PresentsInMind.co.uk; 
Freepost (MIDI 5 105), Stratford- 
Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 
6BR, England; Oil 44 1789 205361 
fexorOll 44 1789205365. 

a HD cloth doll ($235) by Marty 
Donnellan. http://martydoll.com/; 
marty@martydoll.com; 455 Grayson 
Highway, Suite 111-183, 
Lawrenceville, GA 30045, Fax: 
770.466.8719. 

a Walnut Shell HD ($23) from 
Treasure Box Collectibles, 124 La 
Arroya, Weatherford, TX 76088, 

22 



817.613. 1 139; treasbox@flash.net; 
http: //www.flash. net/~treasbox/ 

A silk scarf with the characters as de- 
picted by Dorothy Lake Gregory, $60 
from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 
800.225.5592. 

Handpainted earthenware Fitz & Floyd 
collectibles, including a WR pitcher 
($70) and a QH cookie jar ($100) from 
Ross-Simons, 1.800.556.7376. 

A bracelet with the characters is shown 
in Creative Clay Jewelry by Leslie 
Dierks, Lark Books. 

The painting "Girl with Lilac" by Sophie 
Anderson which used to hang over 
Dodgson's mantelpiece was sold for 
$45,000 by Christie's in London on 20th 
March in their "Genre: Victorian and 
1 9th Century Pictures" auction. 

Articles 

"Alice Doesn't Vote Here Anymore" in 
Mother Jones, Apr. 1998, contains an 
article by Michael Lind on voting theory 
through his view of Carroll's view. 

"A cyclically 6-edge-connected snark 
of the order 118" by M. Kochol. Dis- 
crete Mathematics, 1996. Vol. 161, no. 1- 
3. p. 297. 

"Learning to Reason from Lewis 
Carroll", The Mathematics Teacher, 
Vol.91, no. 1,1998. 

"Grammar with Lewis Carroll", Modern 
English Teacher, Vol.6, no.4, 1997. 

"Jabs & Jibes" by Liam Farrell in The 
Lancet, Vol. 349, no. 9065, May 3 1, 1997, 
discusses "busted expectations" with 
many references to the Snark. 

"Off with their heads" by Eileen 
Battersby in The Irish Times 14 Jan.'98 
"defends his enduringly inventive .4 lice 
books against sexually-obsessed crit- 
ics." 

According to a New York Times article 
(2/19/98), Parks Commissioner Henry 
Stern was "running around like a Mad 
Hatter" over his discovery that the Alice 
statue in Central Park upon which 
"Jabberwocky" is engraved, misquotes 
a line as "Mimsy were the borogroves". 



The supernumerary "r" would be too 
costly to repair, but they are "thinking 
of putting a small sign next to it explain- 
ing that the actual word was 
' borogoves '" . [Don 't hold your breath.] 

Two articles by Andrew Waters on 
Stephanie Stoffel's Lewis Carroll in 
Wonderland appeared in Wake Forest 
Magazine, Vol.45, no.2, December '97. 

George Will's syndicated column on 5 
February on the Lewinsky scandal 
quoted "the Queen of Hearts: 'Why, 
sometimes I've believed as many as six 
impossible things before breakfast.'" I 
believe our readers can spot the hor- 
rendous gaffe. 

Media 

Sunbow Animation of Glendale, C A has 
in development a series "Tweedle Dum 
and Tweedle Dee", which "takes Alice 
out of Wonderland and instead puts the 
bouyant twin brothers firmly in the com- 
edy spotlight." 

Cyberspace 

http://www.sabian.org/alice.htm con- 
tains the wordy 1 928 commentary of Dr. 
Marc Edmund Jones, founder of the 
Sabian Assembly, on AW/TTLG. The 
Sabian Assembly's "objective is the res- 
toration of the Solar Mysteries" and 
does so by means of an arcane philoso- 
phy with an astrological bent. Curiouser 
and curiouser. 

A "GFF' (Gender-Free Pronoun)^ Wis 
available, beginning "Alice was begin- 
ning to get very tired of sitting by eir 
sister on the bank, and of having noth- 
ing to do: once or twice ey had peeped 
into the book eir sister was reading. . . " 
for those who care about such things at 
http://wwwlumina.net/OLD/ahce/i.html. 

An interactive "Learn Math with Alice" 
site for "anyone who is interested in 
learning more about Mathematics, but 
who find the style of textbooks too dry." 
Mostly Algebra. http://www.geocities. 
com/CollegePark/Classroom/2295/ 

Books and Pamphlets 

Award-winning Canadian poet 
Stephanie Bolster's evocative book of 
poems about Alice, "White Stone", has 
been published by Vehicule Press; 
vpress@cam.org; www.cam.org/ 
-vpress. ISBN 1-55065-099-8. $12. Her 



poetry has also graced these pages in 
KL 56. Order from your local bookstore 
or Books Canada, 7 1 Sparks Street, Ot- 
tawa, Ontario, KIP 5A5 Canada, 
613.236.0629. 

Lewis Carroll: une vie, une legende, a 
translation by Laurent Bury of Morton 
Cohen's monumental biography, has 
been published by Editions Autrement, 
169 francs, ISBN 2-86260-784-3. 
autrement@filnet.fr. 

Dreamtime Alice by Mandy Sayer 
(Ballantine, $25) relives two years the 
author spent in the "trashy, seductive 
Wonderland of the streets" as a busker 
along with her father. Somewhat hard- 
edged, but with many A Preferences. 

A 16 pp. pamphlet "Alice in Llech- 
weddland" by Ivor Wynne Jones adds 
much to the study of the Welch links to 
Alice Liddell and her family, and dis- 
abuses many formerly held myths, par- 
ticularly those in Llandudno claim- 
ing links with Lewis Carroll. ISBN 0- 
905935-22-5, or from the publishers at 
Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau 
Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, Wales, LL41 3NB. 
£1.50. 

A W/ TTLG in a boxed set by Macmillan 
Children's Books, Tenniel illustrations 
colored by Henry Theaker and Diz 
Wallace. ISBN 0333640497, £25. Also 
Curiouser and Curiouser: Quotations 
from AW/ TTLG a small ( 1 6 mo ) volume, 
ISBN 0333686252, £5. 

Martin Gardner's The Universe in a 
Handkerchief (LCs puzzles and games) 
has been translated into Japanese by 
LCSNA member / LCSJ founder 
Yoshiyuki Momma. ISBN 482690081 3. 

LC s Classic Photos of Children is a set 
of 24 postcards, published by Dover. 

A free pamphlet issued for the cente- 
nary, An English Inspiration: Cheshire 
in Books and Films, may be requested 
from the British Tourist Authority, 
800.GOTO.BRI(tain). 
The Problem of the Missing Miss, by 
Roberta Rogow teams up CLD with 
Arthur Conan Doyle in a book which 
"mixes dollops of humor with chilling 
descriptions of child prostitution." To 
be published in May by St.Martin's, $22. 
ISBN 0-3 12-18553-7. 



The Making of the Alice Books: Lewis 
Carroll s Uses of Earlier Children s Lit- 
erature by Ronald Reichertz (McGill- 
Queen's University Press) "demonstrate 
that the Alice books are infused with 
conventions of and allusions to earlier 
works and identifies precursors of 
Carroll's upside-down, looking-glass, 
and dream vision worlds." $55. ISBN 0- 
7735-1625-5. 800-565-9523-operatorMQ. 

A comic book series, Quicken Forbid- 
den, asks the question "What if, when 
Alice came back from Wonderland. . . 
Wonderland came back with her . . . ?" It 
follows the adventures of 16 year-old 
Jax Epoch when she falls through an 
interdimensional portal and steals a 
book "older than time". Created by Dave 
Roman and John Green, available from 
Cryptic Press, 365 Smith Street, Freeport 
NY 11520; 212.502.6650 or mnemonic 
@juno.com. Four issues to date, $3 
apiece. [Amusing, but with rather tenu- 
ous Alice links. J 

The Natural History of Make-Believe 
by John Goldthwaite, Oxford University 
Press, 1996 ($30) contains a 94-page 
chapter "A Tutor Recants, The Unwrit- 
ing of Alice in Wonderland. 0-19- 
503806-1. 

Conferences 

"Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll: 
Multicultural Works of Fiction", an all- 
day interdisciplinary conference, Thurs- 
day April 23rd at Queens College in 
Flushing, NY. The program, organized 
by Edward Guiliano et al. , included poet 
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Nina Demurova, 
Donald Rackin, David Schaefer, and 
composer Thea Musgrave. 

The Canadian Society for the History 
and Philosophy of Mathematics will be 
holding a special session on late 19th- 
century mathematics, with a feature on 
C.L.Dodgson, at their annual meeting 
at the University of Ottawa, May 29-3 1 . 

The Midwest Conference of the History 
of Mathematics' inaugural lecture will 
be given by Dr. Fran Abeles and is en- 
titled "Dodgson's Theory of 
Infinitesimals". October 2-4 at Iowa 
State University. 

The 1998 Modern Language Associa- 
tion Children's Literature Division Ses- 
sion is called "After Alice: Lewis Carroll 



23 



and Children's Literature" and will be 
held in San Francisco 27-30 December. 
The papers read will "re-examine Lewis 
Carroll's place in the history of children's 
literature. . . Much biographical informa- 
tion and critical speculation on Carroll 
has been written since his death; how 
has this changed the meaning of the 
Alice books? Can they still be read as 
children's texts?" 

Events and Exhibitions 

Alicia in Wonder Tierra (or, I Can tEat 
Goat Head), a play by Sylvia Gonzales 
S. [sic] blending^ W with Mexican folk- 
lore, was performed in 42 [naturally] 
Northern California schools (grades 3- 
8) by the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 



January 26-March 6. It was originally 
produced in 1995 at the Coterie Theatre 
in Kansas City, MO. 

Several "quietly deranged cartoons" by 
Lewis Carroll, "an untutored but gifted 
draftsman" were included in "Notable 
Notes: Drawings by Writes and Com- 
posers" show at the Joseph Hell man 
Gallery in New York (ran through 1/17/ 
98). The items were on loan from the 
Rosenbach Library. 

Ballet Arizona repeated their 1995 
meshuggenah extravaganza (see KL 50) 
April 1 0- 1 2 in Phoenix. 

A special exhibit, "We're All Mad Here" 
honouring the centenary, will be held at 



the Osborne Collection of Early 
Children's Books at the Toronto Public 
Library, from April 17 to July 4, 1998. 
Gems from the Osborne Collection's 
substantial Carroll holdings and several 
rare and unusual items on loan from the 
Joseph Brabant Collection, http:// 
www.tpl.toronto.on.ca/osborne/ 
home. htm. 

The Lewis Carroll Society of North 
America is always looking for suitable 
guest speakers for our semi-annual 
meetings. Talks should be directly re- 
lated to Carroll and should be entertain- 
ing as well as informative. Please ad- 
dress offers, ideas and questions to 
Joel. 



0\ 



here was a long pause. 
'JIs that all?' 1 'Alice timidly asked. 
That's alirsaid Humpty Dumpty 
"Good-bye." 





For help in preparing this issue thanks are due to: Sandor Burstein, Llisa Demetrios, Lucia Eames, Elizabeth Erickson, 
Johanna Hurwitz, August Imholtz, Vito Lanza, Lucille Posner, Diane Scott, Bea Sidaway, Alan Tannenbaum, Cindy 
Watter, and Malcolm Whyte. 

Knight Letter is the official newsletter of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. It is published several times a year 
and is distributed free to all members. Subscriptions, business correspondence, and inquiries should be addressed to 
the Secretary, 1 8 Fitzharding Place, Owing Mills MD 21117. Annual membership dues are U.S. $20 (regular) and $50 
(sustaining). Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to the Editor, Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942. 

President: Joel Birenbaum, joel birenbaum@lucent. com Secretary: Ellie Luchinsky, eluchin@erols. com 

Editor: Mark Burstein, wrabbit@worldpassage.net 
Lewis Carroll Society of North AmericaHome Page: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/ 
The Lewis Carroll Home Page: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/carroll.html 

24